April 2019: Darren Jones column
Brexit crisis is creating so much uncertainty for us all
Your Voice in Parliament
EACH month I seem to start this column by saying the Brexit saga continues and this month is no different although I do hope there is now some end in sight to the madness. This is because the Prime Minister has well and truly ‘run down the clock’ and Parliament has been clear: a damaging and self-destructive ‘no deal’ must be taken off the table and we must extend Article 50.
I want readers to know, I am under no illusion about the uncertainty this crisis creates for businesses, the economy and EU citizens here in Bristol North West and I wish I could stop that - but I must continue to champion a future that doesn’t risk damaging the country and Bristol North West for decades to come. I have always said, I will stick to my views and the view of most of this constituency. Brexit must be challenged or else it will seriously affect the economy, jobs and the long fought-for workers rights and environmental regulations of this country - the people must have a right to a final say over what happens next.
I know that we’re all concerned about the environment and the ever-persistent and growing threat from climate change - which is why I’ve been leading debates in Parliament, undertaking inquiries through my select committees and joining #climatestrike protestors in Bristol. As part of this work, I’m hosting a live panel discussion in Bristol on April 12 on the issue of climate change. This is part of my recently launched new podcast, called ‘Policy Pods’, which answers your questions in a bit more detail. Please come along to see the podcast recorded and ask myself and the panel a question. You can reserve a ticket via: www.darren-jones.co.uk/cafepolitics and you can download the podcast by searching “Policy Pods” on your podcast app or by visiting my website.
Your Champion in Bristol
This month has continued to be dominated by the council’s proposed changes to the A4018. Thanks to the thousands of you who have signed my petition, completed my survey, delivered the 10,000 leaflets I had printed, contacted me directly and/or joined one of my three public meetings.
I have now formally responded to the council’s A4018 consultation which you can view here: www.darren-jones.co.uk/a4018-feedback/. I have also sent my concerns to the West of England Combined Authority Mayor, Tim Bowles and South Gloucestershire Council. This is because, while we all know that we desperately need more homes and I congratulate South Gloucestershire Council and Bristol City Council for putting in the hard work to make that happen, South Gloucestershire Council must recognise that transport upgrades must prioritise the use of public transport for their new commuters who want to travel into and out of Bristol.
The proposed changes to the Crow Lane roundabout and Westbury-on-Trym village, alongside the high number of turning restrictions along the A4018, are designed to increase capacity for car journeys from commuters. We in Bristol have made it clear that we must prioritise park and ride, rail and cycling routes for Greater Bristol commuters without trying to squeeze more cars into already congested road networks and causing disruption to residents and long-established communities.
That’s why I’ve suggested three new Transport Hubs in my North Bristol Transport Plan - putting rail, park and ride, parking and electric vehicle charging, and cycle hire and lock up onto one site. Yet we have the Henbury Rail station proposed for a field on one side of the A4018 and a Park and Ride on another field on the other side of the dual carriageway! We must work together to make sure we’re building Transport Hubs so that new commuters have confidence in the reliability of public transport with its access into and out of the city, helping them to use public transport instead of private cars.
I urge residents to join my North Bristol Transport Facebook group to keep up to date with news and views from across the constituency: www.facebook.com/groups/northbristoltransport
If you would like to get in touch with me about any local or national issue, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, write to Darren Jones MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA or sign up to my monthly newsletter via www.darren-jones.co.uk/sign-up. You can also find me on Facebook (fb.com/darrenjonesmp) and Twitter (@darrenpjones) and join my weekly Facebook Live chat on Wednesdays at 7.30pm.
You can find out more about upcoming events, and book tickets, here: www.darren-jones.co.uk/cafepolitics
Darren Jones MP
Member of Parliament, Bristol North West