MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

This week I held several key meetings in Fylde, looking into some of the biggest issues in the constituency.

Firs up was a meeting with Network Rail down at Kirkham and Wesham Station, where I received an update on the works set to transform the site.

I’m delighted to see the station will finally be accessible for all, with the installation of two lifts, along with the creation of a new platform.

Once the works are complete, we will see up to eight direct services a day to and from London from Kirkham, in a modern, fit-for-purpose station.

There will also be scope to improve the South Fylde line; I want to see a passing loop installed to increase the number of services, and I am determined to improve the connection to Preston, which at present sees travellers forced to wait an hour for London-bound trains.

We may have some short-term pain while all of these works are carried out, but the long-term gains make it worth putting up with.

Many of you have written to me with examples of how you are paying too much for your rail travel to London after I last week highlighted the difference in ticket prices between Preston and Lancaster fares.

I will be meeting with Virgin Rail next month to discuss this unfair practice, and your letters will help me press this point with them.

I also met with the Highways Agency this week to get an update on road schemes across the borough.

I make no apologies for raising the issue of the Moss Road once again – I will not let it go until the project is built.

At present, we have too many snarl-ups which could be alleviated by this road. It simply has to be built as soon as possible and all of the partners involved, who meet regularly, must now get the deal signed of so work can begin.

It was also interesting to see work progressing on the Preston West Distributor Road which will give the south end of the constituency a further link to the M55.

This will help reduce traffic levels in many of our villages, giving commuters another easy route into and out of the area

I also had a meeting with Jobs, Friends and Houses, an organisation dedicated to helping recovering addicts get back into the world of work.

This organisation has helped a great many people get their lives back on track, turning their backs on drink and drugs, and helping them become qualified tradespeople who give back to society.

Set up in partnership with Lancashire Constabulary, I cannot sing the organisation’s praises enough.

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