We have finally had the announcement we have all been waiting for.
£2 billion of Government money invested in transport infrastructure across the South West - from Gloucester to Penzance. Crucially, £80 million for the railway line at Dawlish.
I welcome this announcement and the forthcoming work by Network Rail to ensure the mainline in and out of Devon and Cornwall is secure. It is essential that it is able to carry out its vital role of transporting business users, tourists and leisure users, and provide a means of export for our excellent local products.
Plymouth is a big winner from this investment receiving significant funds for the new Forder Valley Link Road which will help connect Derriford with the A38 and the redevelopment of Plymouth Station. Indirectly, Plymouth will also benefit from the £80 million of funding to ensure the railway line along the coast at Dawlish is resilient and able to ensure trains keep running regardless of weather or sea conditions.
I have been lobbying for the Government to take the needs in the South West seriously throughout my time in Westminster. It is great to see our most recent lobbying, particularly through the Peninsula Rail Task Force - a cross-party group of MPs, Peers and key business players - which was set up in response to the sea wall collapse in 2014, result in this much-needed investment.
Our work doesn't end here - we will keep working together across the region to ensure the Government recognises the value of investing in the South West - especially the far South West.
The full report on the Government's investment is below.