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Middlesbrough needs better public transport not more broken Tory promises

Chris Grayling is due in Middlesbrough to see the traffic bottlenecks along the A172 Marton Road Corridor. The Secretary of State for Transport is expected to drive along the heavily congested two miles of road. Excluding the A19, the Marton Road Corridor is the busiest north-south route in Tees Valley, carrying up to 25,000 vehicles a day.

As a local MP and Shadow Transport Secretary, I wish to welcome our distinguished visitor Mr Grayling to our wonderful town. I am pleased the Secretary of State is coming to observe the serious traffic problems we face but I regret that he is merely a congestion tourist.

Mr Grayling and his government have cut road maintenance and investment leaving Labour councils to foot the bill. It is Labour in Middlesbrough that is improving local roads and the Labour Council’s package of £43 million investment to increase capacity is clear evidence of this.

One of the best ways to reduce congestion is to provide quality public transport. That’s why Labour supports the introduction of franchising in Middlesbrough to provide cheaper bus fares and better services.

It’s disappointing that the Conservative Metro Mayor Ben Houchen focuses on dead end vanity projects such as buying Tees Valley airport while ignoring the urgent need for local bus improvements which would also help to get people out of their cars on Marton Road and into public transport.’

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