Tory election pledge on region's railway stations and system
Anthony CarrollThe senior Conservative responsible for transport pledged today to reform and improve the region's railway system.But after promising to bring Network Rail and other rail companies to account Theresa Villiers could not guarantee that the dualling of the A11 and the Acle Straight would take place if her party was elected.Anthony Carroll
The senior Conservative responsible for transport pledged today to reform and improve the region's railway system.
But after promising to bring Network Rail and other rail companies to account Theresa Villiers could not guarantee that the dualling of the A11 and the Acle Straight would take place if her party was elected.
Mrs Villiers' comments came during a whistle stop tour of Great Yarmouth where she heard about a campaign to revitalise the town's run down station.
As she heard about the Fix Our Station campaign, Mrs Villiers said her party would improve Norfolk rail users' experiences by reforming Network Rail so it would focus on customers, give longer franchises to rail operators on the condition that if they failed they could be easily removed and finally provide money towards improving stations to attract more users.
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Mrs Villiers said: 'Having a strong reliable railway network is important not only to Yarmouth but to the country as a whole.'
Although Mrs Villiers agreed with the Conservative candidate for Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis, about the need to improve Yarmouth's road infrastructure system by building a third river crossing, she could not commit to improvement work on the A11 and A47 Acle Straight.
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She said: 'We are serious about improving the nation's road system, but with the poor state of public finances we have to be realistic about where our priorities would lie.'
Mrs Villiers, who also praised Yarmouth's new outer harbour for creating jobs, criticised the government's handling of the volcanic ash cloud crisis.
She said the government had been shambolic in its arrangements in bringing back stranded holiday makers and demanded a review into how ministers agreed to close down all the country's airports - only to reopen them a few days later.