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Liberal Democrats call for renewal of our transport networks

November 17, 2009 9:00 AM
Norman Baker MP

Norman Baker MP is one of the most dogged and persistent interrogators in the current House of Commons

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrats' shadow Secretary of State for Transport, spoke at a public meeting in Epsom recently, hosted by local Liberal Democrats, about the need for renewal of our transport networks. Mr Baker told the meeting about the Liberal Democrats' common-sense policies for improved public transport.

There is too much traffic on the roads, trains are expensive and overcrowded. Liberal Democrats believe buses and trains should be affordable and reliable so people can have a real choice about how to travel. Only the Liberal Democrats have costed plans to put the passenger first, with plans for rail renaissance, reopening closed railway lines, opening new stations and building a High Speed Network to cut journey times to Scotland and the north of England.

We also want local people to have a say on bus fares and routes in their area. We want to cut the number of lorries on our roads to reduce congestion and cut exhaust fumes. Our Future Transport Fund will provide ring-fenced funding for the improvements that future generations need if we are to cut our carbon emissions.

The transport system in this country makes it slow and expensive for us to get from A to B. And this month, we achieved a new landmark - the £1000 train ticket. "It is hardly an incentive to get people travelling by train," said local Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman Cllr Jonathan Lees.

Locally Lib Dems have been campaigning to improve public transport, get action on air pollution in Ewell Village and address the problem of Britaniacrest refuse pantechnicons travelling through Epsom. We are also leading on calls to improve cycling facilities in Epsom and Ewell.

The MP for Lewes, Mr Baker has established a reputation as one of the most dogged and persistent parliamentary interrogators in the current House of Commons. Norman is also well known for campaigning for disclosure on MPs expenses.

Best known for preventing MPs from exempting themselves from the Freedom of Information Act, thereby bringing to light the MPs' Expenses Scandal, Norman has also recently obtained better pay for ordinary soldiers and in the past not only opposed the Iraq war but investigated and wrote a book about "The Strange Death of David Kelly", published in 2007.

Mr Baker told the meeting about the opposition he faced when probing the facts about expenses. He then spoke about his expectations for the General Election, before answering a variety of questions.