December 2016

Great Wall of Calais will stand as a folly to failed Government policy

Rob says the completion of the wall to keep migrants from illegally boarding lorries on their way to Britain from France is no cause for celebration.

He says, “The Great Wall of Calais has been completed ahead of schedule and long after it might have served any of its misguided purpose.  The jungle refugee camp is no more than a memory, bulldozed into history, its former residents scattered to the four corners of France.  I’ve previously compared it to the Maginot Line, the string of supposedly impenetrable fortresses built by France after the First War to keep the Germans out.  In the event, they just went over, round or through it.  It didn’t stop the advance, and this new construction won’t stop refugees either.

“The British public has paid more than two million pounds for this useless unwanted structure.  British hauliers are still paying the price of government inability, French and British, to deal with the real problem, that of thousands of migrants desperately seeking a new life in the UK.  Does anyone seriously think the problem of illegal migration will end because the wall is complete when people have sacrificed so much to get as far as France in the first place?

Grayling plans mark return to nineteenth century rail

 “The next time the Transport Secretary comes to the Commons to talk about railways I half expect him to be sporting mutton chop whiskers and a stovepipe hat.”

That’s the response from Rob to Chris Grayling’s plans for joint management between operating companies and Network Rail.

“It harks back to the early days of the railways when competing lines ran from London to Brighton, for example.  It’s just the latest crazy attempt by a Tory government to make sense of probably the most botched privatisation of them all,” he says.  “This is a desperate attempt to sell off the rail network one little bit at a time – presumably in the hope that no one will notice it’s happening.  It’s not even as if it’s a new idea.  Remember the privatised disaster that was Railtrack and how the last Labour government had to rescue that?”

Rob, who also chairs the All Party Group on Freight Transport says that once again, the people being ignored in the Department of Transport’s latest cunning plan are the public. 

Smart Motorways needed to fight “Attack of the Cones”

Rob has welcomed government plans to try to reduce cone-induced motorway misery for drivers, but says so much more could be done to keep Britain moving.

Roads Minister, John Hayes, has announced a pilot plan to see whether the speed limit in roadworks could be increased from fifty to sixty miles per hour and to limit coned-off lanes to a maximum of ten miles.  Rob says it’s a good idea but simply doesn’t go far enough.

Rob says, “It’s good that government is looking at this but the minister’s suggestion is just not sophisticated enough.  Speed limits through roadworks should be variable so that drivers are kept to fifty on safety grounds when workers are present but raised to sixty-five when they’ve all gone home for the day.  However, even if that were done it’s still a bit of a sticking plaster solution to the wider problem of our ageing, crowded major roads.”

Rob wants to see an extension of the smart motorways policy which has been so effective on the M42 and M25 whereby variable speed limits are enforced to keep traffic moving as best it can in differing conditions.

Rob Flello MP calls for national roads renaissance

Research out today shows Britain’s roads are the most congested in Europe.  Data company, Inrix, monitored traffic in 123 cities across the continent and found that nearly half of the worst traffic black spots are in the UK.  Rob says, “Britain has fallen so far behind in investment in our roads that we’re heading for a grinding halt.  This gridlock can only seriously injure the economy at the worst possible time because we need everything running smoothly by the time we exit the EU.”

“The government’s committed to spending £56 billion on HS2,” he says.  “The cost will inevitably soar, it won’t be completed for decades and its benefits are questionable at the least.  That figure is almost three times the whole of the annual Transport budget.  The Chancellor announced an extra £1.3 billion for road improvements in the autumn statement but that again is peanuts by comparison and hides double-counting and already announced schemes.  We’re reaching a point of no return where Britain’s roads lead nowhere, least of all to post-Brexit prosperity.”