Writing in this week’s edition of the Mid Sussex Times, Sir Nicholas addresses the issue of transport across the constituency. He said:
“Transport is clearly an important issue in Mid Sussex and is inevitably a bit of a mixed bag.
The bus service is not as good as it should be and the rail service has had some serious difficulties. Although we have good motorway links our local roads are desperately busy and over-laden.
We can only have improvements to our local infrastructure if we have a strong economy. I was therefore delighted that through Coast to Capital and the Government’s Growth Deal Fund, transport links are set to improve with £31.7 million to support a range of projects that tackle congestion and improve sustainable transport, such as improved walking and cycling links, improvements to the A2300 and better public transport. This includes schemes to improve traffic flows around Burgess Hill in anticipation of the expected growth. This Government funding is a major boost for Mid Sussex and will support the further development of what is already a strong local economy.
In respect of rail services I have lobbied the Government hard in trying to resolve the performance issues and the service has improved, but the huge investment that the Government is making in the railways has inevitably created problems. There is a major station development underway at Haywards Heath which will provide a much improved facility and a new station has been built in East Grinstead.
This is all part of a huge investment in the rail network over the next five years, delivering new tracks, trains, transforming stations and upgrading existing lines.
Not only have we frozen rail fares for the next five years but motorists have really benefited from a freeze on fuel duty.
I am very conscious of the need to improve bus services locally since it remains a popular form of transport particularly for older people. We have protected the national bus pass which gives older and disabled people free off-peak travel on local buses.
I am delighted that Real Time Bus Information is being rolled out in Haywards Heath, Lindfield and Cuckfield – an important step to improve efficiency thereby encouraging greater use and safeguarding services.
I am wholly opposed to a second runway at Gatwick.
Given the terrible pressure on our existing infrastructure to build a second runway would create even more pressure on our roads, health services, housing and schools.”