The next installment of out General Election series, follow along with our tag #GE2019.
We asked the candidates in South West Norfolk: Public transport is a key issue in our local towns and villages, some areas are practically inaccessible by public transport which could be a cause of the rising levels of loneliness and isolation. What will you do to improve this?
Pallavi Devulapalli – Green Party
I will prioritise bringing in accessible affordable public transport to every nook and corner of South West Norfolk by legislative means, by using government grants and subsidies and by incentivising bus operators to provide such a service. I will also work with organizations such as Sustrans to make active transport a realistic option for most children and adults. Improving public transport will improve residents’ lives while simultaneously reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, so is a win win situation.
Josie Ratcliffe – Liberal Democrats
We certainly need a major new development in public transport – I was shocked by recent news of sheltered accommodation residents in Thetford being left isolated because their company bus had simply stopped turning up. This is an area where aims in different areas can connect together well – our funds for improved public transport will come from our major new budget to tackle the climate emergency, but better transport also leads to stronger communities and better support for older people too. Public transport needs to be locally administered – we’ve had too many years when national governments have drawn more and more power into Whitehall, when the decisions over what kinds of public transport are needed where are far better taken here, on the ground, with people who know the local area and our communities’ needs. If I’m elected as South West Norfolk’s MP on December 12, empowering councils to improve transport – giving them both the additional funding and the legal duties necessary to do so – will be a priority of mine.
Emily Blake – Labour Party
This is a huge concern of mine and the Labour party seek to eradicate this. We certainly have issues with public transport in this area, getting into town centres and doctors surgery’s is difficult for many because of the lack of buses, the infrequency of them and the routes, and taxis are now incredibly expensive with some areas now running on meters rather than set fees. Isolation affects people of all ages, older people are suffering from loneliness and younger people are not able to get out and do things and take advantage of what city centres offer that their villages and small towns do not. Young people under the age of 25 will have free bus travel under Labour. Routes that have been cut, particularly in rural communities, will be reinstated (3000 routes) and by taking public ownership of buses, councils will be able to have more power and control to improve the services for their individual communities.
The other candidates are Liz Truss (Conservative) and Earl Elvis of Outwell (Monster Raving Loony).