'My transport plan is to secure Government funding to improve local roads and rail services; tens of millions of pounds have been granted by Government during my time as MP towards the Congleton Link-Road, M6 improvements, a Middlewich Bypass, and road service improvements across the constituency.'
On transport issues, which Fiona recognises are extremely important to her constituents, she successfully worked to obtain over £45m of Government funding to the Congleton Link-Road - one of her speeches in Parliament about this can be found here. Work is not well underway for this major rod project - the funds obtained for this constituency from the Government national road funding schools were in the top handful in the country.
Fiona also successfully obtained funding for improvements to Junction 17 at Sandbach. Very early on as a Member of Parliament she successfully persuaded Highways England to review their decision not to fund improvements to Junction 17 - she argued that tailbacks towards the southbound carriageway were becoming increasingly dangerous; that, with additional housebuilding planned, it was only a matter of time before there was an accident; and asked them to remodel their plans, which they did, coming back with several millions pounds to improve the junction. More work, however, still needs to be done, and Fiona continues to press Cheshire East Council to address this, in particular to help commuters from Sandbach at peak times.
Fiona is not content on there being funding for one bypass in the constituency - and has been vigorously pressing for one to relieve Middlewich's congestoin. Working with Cheshire East Council, she obtained over £1m national funding from the Government for the creation of a business case, now completed, to argue for a Middlewich Bypass. See here for just one of her calls in Parliament for this. Fiona is now pressing Government Ministers strongly for the funds to build this bypass.
Fiona has clearly voiced her opposition to the HS2 rail proposals, which she has described as being “an inordinately expensive potential burden on my constituents without any justifiable business case in the current economic climate”. She has never voted for any Government motion for HS2. As a Member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Highways Maintenance, she campaigned for more Government funding to improve local roads and mend potholes in her constituency of Congleton, and in the year 2015-16 Cheshire East Council received £10.5m to do this, which has resulted in local roads being amongst the best repaired in the country.
Fiona has worked for years campaigning for the re-opening of Middlewich Railway Station to passengers. In as long ago as March 2013 I presented a petition to Parliament of 2,000 signatures from residents - a petition I initiated and helped gather - petitioning for the reopening of Middlewich Railway Station to passengers. I enlisted the support of neighbouring MPs - more information can be found here. I also obtained the support of Pete Waterman for the the project.
Fiona is also keenly aware of the very long term traffic problems suffered by Holmes Chapel residents and has worked for years alongside local hardworking and dedicated Councillors Les Gilbert and Andrew Kolker to press Council Officers to take steps to alleviate these; sadly no sustainable solution has yet been found, but she is determined to keep fighting for action to be taken to improve the situation for local residents.
Fiona is always a great supporter of the Transport Festival and of all the Friends of local stations who do so much to improve them in Alsager, Goostrey, Sandbach and Congleton - the last one of which wsa pleased to help start up and pays tribute to Councillor Glen Williams, who has done so much to ensure its work is effective and ongoing.