Mary Creagh MP

Working hard for Wakefield

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Published in the Daily Mail, 4 March 2017 


Those of us of a certain age will feel a tinge of excitement at talk of a return to bottle deposit schemes.

As a youngster I took empty pop bottles back to the shop for pennies. I also remember the early-morning clink of empties as the milkman finished his round.

Long before recycling was fashionable, Britain had common sense systems like these for reusing empties. Deposit schemes and recycled glass bottles, driven on an electric float. What a shame we have lost them!

Drinks companies ditched deposit schemes and replaced reusable glass with disposable plastic to boost profits. Milk rounds went the same way, as supermarkets put loss-leading milk in plastic bottles.

Most of the hundreds of millions of tonnes of plastic produced in the world each year is used only once. Products may be cheaper, but we're paying the price of the environmental catastrophe this is causing.

Plastic bottles litter our towns and countryside, collect in our rivers and end up in the sea. If things carry on, experts fear there could be more pieces of plastic in the sea than fish by 2050. Plastic also finds its way on to our dinner plates in seafood as discarded bottles break up in the sea into particles swallowed by sea life.

We can all do our bit by switching to reusable water bottles. But, more importantly, the drinks industry must take responsibility.

Parliament also needs to look at what Government can do. That's why the Commons' cross-party green watchdog the Environmental Audit Committee, which I chair, is launching an inquiry today looking at the problem of plastic bottles and other disposable drinks containers like coffee cups.

We've already examined the build-up of plastic in the ocean and secured a ban on toxic plastic microbeads with the help of the Daily Mail. I pay tribute to the Mail whose campaign on single use plastic bags also forced the Government to change track. Now the Mail's Take Back Your Bottles campaign has put plastic bottle waste on the agenda.

Our committee will examine solutions like deposit schemes. And we will ask drinks companies what they are doing to reduce waste and boost recycling.

Deposit schemes saved resources and kept streets clean. We will look at whether we should reintroduce them. If Government and industry listen, together we can turn back the tide of plastic choking our seas.



We can turn back tide of plastic that chokes seas

Published in the Daily Mail, 4 March 2017 

I will speak on behalf of the Environmental Audit Committee, which has published a report on flooding. We found a lack of long-term strategic planning for flood risk and that the Government had not been doing enough to ensure the resilience of nationally significant infrastructure. Crucially, there has been a stop-start approach to flood defence funding and a lack of support for local councils. Our report called on the Government to take a proactive approach to funding and to make companies that operate key digital, energy and transport infrastructure report on their preparedness levels for flooding and their resilience targets. We called for more support for councils to prepare plans to deal with the risk of flooding, and for the Government to publish a 25-year plan for flooding alongside the long-awaited and much delayed 25-year plan for the environment, for which, yes, we are indeed still waiting.

Before I discuss the detail of our report, I wish to say a few words about climate change. Flooding is the greatest risk our country faces from climate change. As hon. Members have said, the risks are already significant and will increase as a result of climate change. Even if global temperature rises are kept below 2°, the UK ​faces a rising threat from surface water as a result of the intense rain patterns, from coastal erosion and tidal surges, and from fluvial flooding. It is important to stress that cities such as Hull face all three of those threats—some areas are much more vulnerable than others.

Sea-level rise forecasts vary from 50 cm to 100 cm by the end of the century. That will make tidal surges bigger. We saw how exposed is our North sea coast on the east of England in January’s storm surge, when the coastal town of Jaywick in Essex, which suffered so grievously in the 1950s, had to be evacuated by the Army. It is good to see a faster response time from the Government in such fast-moving, life-and-death situations, but we need to be able to scale that up if the North sea surge happens simultaneously along the whole eastern coast.

Various predictions, including the forecasts in the Government’s national flood resilience review, say that monthly winter rainfall could be 20% to 30% higher over the next 10 years, so as well as planning for the next 80 years, for our children’s lifetimes, we need to be thinking about the next 10 years. There are risks to all nations and all sectors of the economy. In its latest risk assessment, the Committee on Climate Change said:

“Current levels of adaptation are projected to be insufficient to avoid flood and coastal erosion risks”.

We are not yet doing what we need to do to match the scale of the risk. There has been some progress, but we need to move much further and faster as the scale and nature of the risk becomes more apparent and as the science develops. My concern is that Government policy is not changing fast enough to meet the changes in the scientific forecasts.

The Committee on Climate Change warns that increased flood risk affects property values and business revenues, and, in extreme cases, threatens the viability of some communities. A much worse scenario is set out in the climate change risk assessment: if global temperatures rise by 4° above pre-industrial levels, the number of UK households predicted to be at significant risk of flooding will double from 860,000 today to 1.9 million in 2050. Those are very stark and very concerning figures.

I know from my own constituency the misery that flooding can bring. In the 2007 floods, 1,000 homes in Wakefield were flooded. As my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton South West (Rob Marris) said, successive Government have cut funding over the years, ​and 2007 was one such year—it was Labour that cut the funding that year. Our flood defence programme was cut, and I lobbied very hard to get that money reinstated. We got £15 million for flood defences to protect our cities. Thanks to those defences, which were completed in 2012, Wakefield managed to escape the worst of the 2015 storms. That was really, really important.

Nationally, the Government have taken a rollercoaster approach to funding. During the previous Parliament, flood funding was initially cut by 27%. The money was then reinstated after the 2013-14 floods. Mark Worsfield’s review of flood defences, which was published by my Committee, showed that those Government cuts had resulted in a decline in the condition of critical flood defences. It showed that the proportion of key flood defence assets that met the Environment Agency’s required condition fell from 99% in 2011-12 to 94% in 2013-14. Therefore, in three years we had a pretty large decline in the condition of mission critical flood defence assets, which posed an unacceptable risk for communities—I am talking about those communities that think that they have their flood defences in place and that they can sleep easy in their beds at night when it is raining. The more flood defences that the Government build, the more they need to increase the maintenance budgets. We cannot keep spending more on capital and then cut the revenue budget.

The failure of the Foss Barrier in York shows what happens when critical flood assets fail. It was built on the cheap in the 1980s. It was not built to the correct height and it had just two mechanisms. Once one of those mechanisms failed, the water overtopped its banks and reached the electrical switch rooms. Local flood engineers were left with no choice but to raise the barrier with very little notice, which led to hundreds of homes being flooded. I know that my hon. Friend the Member for York Central (Rachael Maskell) will have a great deal to say on that.

The Government are talking about spending more on flood defences. One mechanism they are using is the so-called partnership funding. My Committee looked into the sources of that funding and found that 85% of it was coming from public sector bodies. Therefore, the Government are cutting funds centrally, and then putting pressure on hard-pressed local councils, which have seen their budgets fall by 30% over the past seven years, to boost their flood defence assets. When they say, “Do you fancy stomping up for some flood defence assets for your town or city.” those councils are left with no choice but to say yes. Just 15% of the money is coming from the private sector. Of course, it is not a level playing field, because any private sector company that gives the Government money for partnership funding gets tax relief on that so-called donation.

At the start of each spending review, the Government announce how much they will spend. In 2015, they allocated £2.5 billion for flood defences, but after storms Desmond, Eva and Frank, the Government announced, in Budget 2016, that the funding was not adequate and that they were going to invest an extra £700 million. Once again, we have this stop-start approach—cut when it is dry and spend when it is raining. The hon. Member for Penrith and The Border (Rory Stewart), who was then a Minister in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that the extra money would be spent according to a “political calculation”.

The coalition Government in 2010—I know that the hon. Lady was not a Minister then—cut the flood defence budget by 27%. Of course, the way in which the Minister is raising the money—the extra £700 million that was announced in the Budget in March 2016—came from a stealth tax: an increase in insurance premium tax. That raises £200 million a year and goes on every insurance policy in the country, so car drivers and people who own pets are paying for flood defences. We can argue about whether that is the most transparent way of raising money for flood infrastructure.

I will talk about the Committee’s report and the criticisms that we have made, particularly about infrastructure resilience. Storm Angus caused landslips and ballast washaways on railway lines in Devon, Cornwall, the north-east and Scotland before Christmas, bringing travel disruption—as storms always do—as we saw last week with Storm Doris. Last winter’s floods, particularly those in Leeds, which the Committee visited, showed that key energy, digital and transport infrastructures are not well protected. Let us not forget the bridge being washed away in Tadcaster. The replacement bridge has only just reopened, over a year after those floods. Roads and railways going down have a huge impact on the economics of an area.

The Government’s national flood resilience review, which was published last summer, found that 500 sites with nationally significant infrastructure are vulnerable to flooding. During the winter floods of 2015-16, nine electricity sub-stations, and 110 water pumping stations or sewage works in Yorkshire were affected by flooding. Keeping the water supply going and the sewage under control is vital. My Committee recommended that the Government mandate energy and water companies to meet a one-in-200-year flood resilience target for risk. I am afraid that the Government’s response was hugely disappointing, simply saying, “We don’t think that’s the best way of doing it”, but not saying what the best way is. I am interested to hear that. Our strategy cannot just be tumbleweed—listening for the wind and hoping that it is not coming our way.

Minimum standards for energy, transport infrastructure and digital telecommunications companies are vital. Let us not forget that the railway lines were flooded out of Leeds. The police Airwave response radios went down, so West Yorkshire police were unable to work out where to send their blue light emergency response vehicles in the middle of a civil emergency. That is simply not good enough. If that had happened not on Boxing day, but on a normal working day a couple of days later, tens of thousands of people would have been stranded in Leeds city centre with nowhere to spend the night. There would have been a much bigger civil emergency response.

The Government’s long awaited national flood resilience review was published in September. It was good to hear about some of the things that are happening, such as the mobile flood defences. However, the Committee thinks that flood defences are essentially a sticking plaster solution: they are good as far as they go, but fail one third of the times they are used, so they work only twice in every three times. The review said nothing ​about the risk from heavy rainfall overwhelming sewers. No one likes to talk about sewage, although some people might think that a lot of it goes on in this place, Madam Deputy Speaker, but clearly not in this debate and under your excellent chairmanship.

The Government need a comprehensive long-term strategy properly to deal with some of the granular issues around flood risk, none more important than the way in which local authorities have to deal with flood planning and prevention. Some 30% of local authorities in September 2016 simply did not have a complete plan for flood risk, and a quarter of lead local flood authorities did not have a strategy. How are the public and Members of this place meant to scrutinise whether the plans and responses are adequate if they simply do not exist?

The Environment Agency provides advice to local councils about where new housing developments should be built in order to minimise flood risk, and the Committee heard that such advice is usually followed. However, almost 10,000 homes were built in high flood-risk areas in 2013-14. The extent to which the Environment Agency’s advice on where or whether to build homes is systematically monitored, reported or followed up through the planning system is simply not known. There is nothing wrong with building new homes in flood-risk areas, as long as those areas are adequately protected—Southwark and this place are at risk of flooding, and people are obviously still building new homes in London because there is a thing called the Thames barrier—but the situation is not being systematically monitored. We would therefore like to see much more help going from DEFRA and the DCLG to enable councils to adopt local flood plans and then actually follow them up.

In the wake of the winter storms in 2015-16, the then Prime Minister appointed two Ministers as flood envoys to co-ordinate the response to flooding in two areas: the hon. Members for Penrith and The Border (Rory Stewart) in Cumbria and for Scarborough and Whitby (Mr Goodwill) in Yorkshire. A question was raised about whether those posts transferred under the new Government and the new Prime Minister. I wrote to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in July. She responded in September, saying she was thinking about it. Finally, on 7 January, we got a reply saying, “Actually, they are still in post.” It should not take six months for the Secretary of State to reply to a Committee Chair of this House to let us know whether, in the event of a flood, those two Ministers are still co-ordinating the response. What would have happened if flooding had taken place in Jaywick? That is simply not acceptable.

Finally, on insurance, last winter’s devastating floods cost over £1.3 billion in insured losses and about £5 billion across the whole economy. As I said, my Committee visited Leeds, and we had particular access to insurance. We had people coming across from Calderdale, where 70% to 80% of businesses were affected by the flooding—they have been affected almost annually by fluvial flooding and surface flooding. The floods cost small and medium-sized enterprises an estimated £47 million, with indirect costs totalling £170 million.

The floods in Leeds were the worst since 1866. Leeds University, which has done some research into this issue, told my Committee that 60% of local businesses have been unable to obtain a quotation for insurance since last winter’s floods. We heard of one business ​whose excess had risen from £1,000 to £250,000 after the floods. We heard of another business whose buildings insurance premium rose 60%, to £10,000, and whose excess increased 40%, to £10,000, but it would get the insurance only if it stumped up £400,000 to build new flood defences. The Committee on Climate Change says that the economic viability of some areas is being threatened, and the way insurance companies are failing to rise to meet this risk and failing to stand with communities is putting whole parts of our country at risk of becoming economically unviable.

Businesses are encouraged to shop around, and there are some excellent community Flood Save schemes, where people try to get together to use market power to purchase insurance collectively, and one of those schemes is now up and running in Calderdale, but it should not have to come to that. We want to see insurance companies standing alongside communities. The insurance companies lobbied long and hard to mitigate their risk from climate change, and the Government set up the Flood Re scheme —another insurance tax on contents premiums and buildings premiums, with every homeowner in the country stumping up for the access risk so that the insurers do not have to pay it and can transfer it to the Government. Insurers need to cut businesses some slack and rise to meet some of these challenges.

It is important that we do not end up with every taxpayer subsidising the private sector. The Government need to look again at the use of different, innovative mechanisms that do not place yet another burden on the already hard-pressed householder or car driver who has seen their insurance premiums go up as a result of mitigating and pooling some of this risk.

Failing to fund flood defences adequately is playing Russian roulette with people’s homes and with people’s businesses. I have talked about my Committee’s concerns about rollercoaster funding instead of steady-state funding; vague targets; vulnerable transport, energy and digital infrastructure, where again the Government simply lack the political will to work with companies across Government to get them to have flood-resilient assets; and local councils left to just get on with it by themselves. The storms may have receded for the moment, but the clean-up in some areas of Yorkshire, and in other areas ​across the country, is still going on. The lessons that we draw from this debate and these two Committee reports will shape our winters and our summers for decades to come.

Speech in a debate on future flood prevention

I will speak on behalf of the Environmental Audit Committee, which has published a report on flooding. We found a lack of long-term strategic planning for flood risk and that...

The Bus Services Bill finally had its second reading in the Commons last week. This Bill will give cities with elected Mayors London-style powers over public transport, which will mean more buses, on more routes. However, cities without directly elected Mayors will miss out, even though in cities like Wakefield, twice as many people travel by bus than by train. I called on the Government to give powers to regulate buses to all areas, not just those with directly elected Mayors. I also raised my concerns that the impact of this Bill will be limited unless it is properly funded, and called for the Government to be more environmentally ambitious. 

Transcript of my speech: 

It is a pleasure to follow such excellent speeches from my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford South (Judith Cummins) and my right hon. Friend the Member for Leigh (Andy Burnham), whom I was proud to serve as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Labour Government. I hope that he will be elected as Mayor of Manchester in May.

When I was shadow Transport Secretary, I found that there was a great deal of media attention if I said something about the railways but that very few people were interested in buses, yet in cities such as Wakefield, twice as many people travel by bus as travel by train. I ​believe that everybody should have the right to get on a cheap, clean bus, no matter where they live, their age or if they have a disability. I am therefore pleased that buses are finally getting the attention they deserve and that Labour is supporting the Bill.

This is also a day for reflection on the Transport Act 1985, which has dominated the bus travelling lives of everyone in the House. It privatised and deregulated Britain’s bus services outside London, since when the number of bus journeys outside the capital has fallen by more than a third. I remember growing up in Coventry. The bus was my lifeline to school and in and out of work when I was a Saturday girl at British Home Stores—I do not think that I made any pension contributions, but I will be checking my wage slips when I get home. There was a time in the heyday of the early ’80s when children in Coventry travelled across the west midlands for 2p. That taught young people where the buses went, the routes, and the places they could go—we could go to the ice rink in Solihull; we did not have one in Coventry. That opened up all sorts of opportunities. If we do not get people travelling on buses when they are young, we will not persuade them to do so when they grow older.

Bus patronage in Yorkshire has halved since deregulation in 1985. The cut to services across Wakefield has left people on estates and in small towns and villages isolated. As colleagues have said about their own areas, it is cheaper in my city to get a taxi than to put yourself and three children on a bus—people in London forget that children outside London do not get free bus travel. The situation affects parental choices about where their children can go to school, because they have to think about whether they can afford the bus fares as well as school dinners and uniforms.

In London, which is the city whose Labour Mayor introduced the congestion charge, and which fought and won the battle against deregulation, bus passenger numbers have doubled. There we have it—numbers have halved in Yorkshire and doubled in London. When the Secretary of State talks about the number of bus journeys, we have to ask ourselves what it would have been without deregulation. The economy has grown, but in real terms bus patronage outside London has fallen.

There has been much waxing lyrical about investment from the private sector bus companies, but we forget—I have not heard this mentioned—that 41% of bus funding comes from the taxpayer. That has fallen from a figure of 46% when we left office in 2010. We, as democratically elected Members, and our local authority colleagues, as democratically elected local representatives, have a right to say how the money is spent and to see that buses are run as public services in the public interest, not as private services in the private interest.

At the last election, Labour promised more powers to regulate Britain’s bus services, and as the Bill goes some way to doing that, we support the Government’s U-turn. The fact that there are more bus journeys in London today than in the rest of country put together is an indictment of the past 30 years of bus policy under this and previous Conservative Governments, as well as the previous Labour Government. In the rest of the country, bus services are infrequent, run as monopolies and expensive. In London, as I said in my intervention on the Secretary of State, open data are widely available, ​providing accurate and real-time information about buses. I use the Bus Checker app. It works in certain cities outside London, but not all of them. In most other parts of the country, bus travel information is held by bus companies and is not publicly available.

On funding concerns, there is no mention of money in the Bill. Buses are really important to the most vulnerable sections of our society—people on low incomes, the unemployed, the young, the disabled and the elderly. Blind people have a right to hear their stop called out; they should not have to rely on the kindness of other passengers. I have been on buses in London when, in a bit of a dream, perhaps thinking about some weighty matter before the House, I have found the audio-visual cues quite useful to rouse me from my reverie. Thanks to Labour’s free bus pass, one third of all bus journeys are taken by older and disabled people. While our planes, trains and roads are seen as economically important, buses are seen as a Cinderella service. Local transport authorities need more powers, but franchising, advanced quality partnerships and ticketing changes are only one part of the solution. The other essential tool that councils need—money—is missing from this Bill.

In 2010, the spending review slashed the bus service operators grant by 20%, and the 2015 local government settlement announced funding cuts to local government of 24% in real terms over this Parliament. It is a disgrace that a Government who have pledged to close the north-south gap have been found in a report published a couple of weeks ago by the Institute for Public Policy Research to be investing 10 times more funding per person for transport projects in London than in Yorkshire. Research by the Campaign for Better Transport shows that Government cuts have forced councils to slash bus subsidies by £78 million since 2010. What has that meant in the real world? Nearly half of councils have withdrawn bus services. The pressure on councils in all areas of the country to divert money away from bus services is huge.

Although I welcome the fact that the Bill finally gives authorities powers to create integrated transport and ticketing systems, the Government must extend these powers everywhere. They must be extended to Wakefield and Leeds in West Yorkshire, not just to areas with metro Mayors such as Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Bristol. Some of the best bus services in Britain are provided by municipal bus companies that are still owned at arm’s length by their councils, as we heard in the excellent speech made by my successor as shadow Transport Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham South (Lilian Greenwood).

Cities such as Nottingham and Reading boast some of best passenger satisfaction ratings in the country, but I am concerned that clause 21 of the original Bill would remove the rights of councils to set up municipal bus companies. Councils have a general power to promote economic and social development in their area, so I cannot understand why, if a council is giving planning permission for a new out-of-town shopping centre or a workplace such as a new-build factory, it should be unable to provide the bus services that will be necessary to get people to and from those places. That should fall under the general economic powers of councils.​

I hope that the Government will not seek to reintroduce clause 21, which is ideologically driven. We need a heavy dose of pragmatism and a lot less so-called competition-driven ideology when it comes to buses. In London’s regulated system, the big five bus companies have managed to make a profit, and a regulated system operates across Europe. There is no reason why companies cannot operate and make money in the rest of the country, including my city of Wakefield. I hope the Secretary of State and the Minister will commit to improving bus services for all areas, not just cities with directly elected mayors.

My second major point is the environmental obligations that we need to put on bus operators to invest in ultra-low emission vehicles, such as those being rolled out in London by Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan. We have an air pollution crisis in this country, and we know that buses can help to tackle pollution by being greener and by cutting congestion.

The Royal College of Physicians estimates that air pollution causes 40,000 early deaths in the UK each year. Some 38 of the Government’s 43 air quality management areas, including Wakefield, have illegally high levels of nitrogen oxides—pollutants that cause respiratory diseases. It is very difficult to tackle this. Wakefield is at the intersection of the M1 and the M62 motorways, but there is also significant congestion in the city centre at rush hour, which is adding to our problems. These pollutants have been linked to heart disease and low birth weight in babies, so our constituents are affected before they are even born.

The Environmental Audit Committee, which I chair, published its report “Sustainability in the Department for Transport” last September. I hope that the Minister has read it; perhaps I will test him on some of its findings when he makes his winding-up remarks. We found that progress on tackling air pollution was too slow. Critically, the Government are set to miss the Committee on Climate Change’s target for 9% of cars to be ultra-low emission by 2020. During our inquiry, we asked the Minister whether the 9% figure was reflected in his single departmental plan. We went to and fro over the issue. Eventually, in a letter from the civil servant responsible for this matter, we found out that the target was no longer 9%, but between 3% and 7%, with a mid-point of 5%. However, even that target is looking pretty unachievable because only 1.5% of England’s vehicles are currently ultra-low emission. We will not hit the 5% target, and we might be lucky to hit 3% over the next three years.

We need to be on the most cost-effective path to tackle transport emissions, and that means that we should be looking at a 9% target. We have no confidence that the UK will achieve a 60% market share for ultra-low emission vehicles by 2030. There is absolutely no strategy or policy in this area beyond 2020—[Interruption.] I can see the Ministers talking. I will be happy to take an intervention from them if they can put me right.

Last year, the High Court found that the Government’s plan to tackle air pollution was illegal. This Government have repeatedly delayed, postponed and pushed back the publication of their emissions reduction plan. This Bill is an opportunity to reverse that lack of ambition and incentivise the manufacture and uptake of zero-emission buses. Transport for London told my Committee that when the Government cut the 6p per kilometre ​payments for hybrid buses through the bus service operators grant, the costs of making its entire double-decker fleet zero-emission suddenly ran out of control. My Committee heard that the amount of funding available through the local sustainable transport fund and the clean bus technology fund is too small and not of the scale necessary to tackle this issue across our country.

The big bus operators in London are investing in green buses—as we have heard, London gets more bus grant—but its old buses are cascaded down to cities such as mine. Diesel pollution problems are transported out of London to cities that have exactly the same problems, but less money to sort them out. That is fundamentally unfair.

Labour Lords amended the Bill to require all new buses commissioned under partnership and franchising schemes to meet low-emission requirements. I urge the Government to keep that amendment. I will be grateful to the Minister if he addresses that point directly in his closing remarks.

Everybody should have access to a decent bus service. When I was shadow Environment Secretary, I got an email about a young man in Chichester. His parents told me that he had a place to study at Chichester college, but the council had just cut the bus service. They said, “We don’t have a car. What is he supposed to do?” I was really heartbroken. I thought to myself that that was the end for this young man. He was 16 years old and the thing that he wanted to do—to go to college so that he could get on in life—was being denied to him.

Physical mobility through the use of buses is key to social mobility in our lives. If a person cannot move out of their village, they will always stay where they are. We want people to get out of their villages so that they can access towns and cities, and the educational, leisure and shopping opportunities that exist in our neighbourhoods. That is really important for local shops, particularly in this internet age. The Government’s deregulation of buses has been disastrous for cities such as Wakefield. The Bill gives us an opportunity to tackle air pollution and congestion, but without a cross-departmental strategy involving the Treasury and the Department for Communities and Local Government, its impact will be limited.

The Department for Transport’s own figures predict that, by 2040, numbers of bus journeys will have fallen faster than numbers of journeys using any other form of transport. We have to stop that decline. We have to tackle air pollution and carbon emissions. The Bus Services Bill is the first attempt to improve bus services in our country and to give people the opportunities that they deserve. I do hope that Ministers will listen to my Committee’s concerns about air pollution and ensure that we do not miss that opportunity.

Bus Services Bill

The Bus Services Bill finally had its second reading in the Commons last week. This Bill will give cities with elected Mayors London-style powers over public transport, which will mean...

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