What are they afraid of?
At the East Riding Council meeting last Wednesday 10th January the entire complement of Conservative councillors voted against their own twenty year plan and agreed not to engage with their own government on offers to improve travel options across the East Riding by supporting rail projects.
Chief protagonist Cllr Symon Fraser from Driffield, ( which already has a railway line) tabled a wrecking amendment to a motion by Lib Dem Cllr Denis Healy for the Council to work with Rail North on supporting rail projects in the region. Cllr Fraser’s amendment called for spending to be limited to roads and flood prevention only, despite the motion making it clear that no money or resources were being asked for .
The question needs to be asked what are Cllr Fraser and his colleagues afraid of?
Earlier in the meeting Cllr Fraser had reported his concerns over the amounts of money being asked for by Internal Drainage Boards, and indicated that funding should be reduced to the main providers of drainage and flood prevention in the county. So much for his flood prevention aims!
On the matter of roads he must be aware of the government consultation on Main Road Networks which aims to offer up to £100 million funding per road for bypasses and other improvements on the main ‘A’ roads including the A1079 and A63 which should address his concerns about lack of road spending.
The East Riding Council Environment and Regeneration Sub-committee have been told that funds for rail reinstatement and expansion are available from central government if they collaborate with Rail North and Transport for the North on suggested projects, yet Cllr Frasers wrecking amendment and subsequent vote prevents this.
MPS from York, Beverley and Holderness and Hull support rail expansion but the participation of the East Riding Council in any projects is essential for their advancement.
To summarise, funding is available for roads, funding is available for rail, yet East Riding Conservatives have clearly refused to even consider rail as an option whilst road congestion and overcrowding on the few existing rail lines continue to increase as investment, tourism and ultimately prosperity continue to fall.
The question needs to be answered, who are they representing and what are they afraid of?
Cllr Peter Hemmerman
Market Weighton Town Councillor and Chairman of Minsters Rail Campaign
Tel 01430 871033