The government cancelled electrification of the train line to Bristol Temple Meads. As a result, polluting diesel trains will still be running into the heart of the city.
This is particularly insulting for people living near the train lines in Lawrence Hill, one of the most deprived parts of Bristol. They had months of disruption and noise from electrification works, but will see no benefit from it.
This morning I asked the Department for Transport whether people in Lawrence Hill will receive any compensation for this inconvenience. The answer showed little understanding of the problem. Watch it here.
Even worse, residents of Lawrence Hill, Easton and Clifton who need step-free access are unlikely to be able to fully use these stations any time soon. I have been pushing Network Rail to grant Access for All funding to improve facilities for wheelchair users, parents with pushchairs and disabled people at Lawrence Hill, Stapleton Road and Clifton Down. These bids were rejected. I have since written to Department for Transport directly to ask this decision to be reconsidered.
I will continue to press the government on this, particularly when it comes to the least well-off parts of my constituency. These areas are most reliant on public transport, so when the system discriminates against some passengers, it seems particularly unfair.