Bath MP and Liberal Democrat Climate Change and Energy Spokesperson, Wera Hobhouse, has taken over the Transport portfolio for the Liberal Democrats. The move means Wera has picked up the Transport Portfolio from Richmond MP Sarah Olney. Wera now covers Climate Change, Energy and Transport.
She has vowed to use the position to tackle the Conservatives’ mishandling of public transport across the country, using her own experience campaigning on major transport issues in Bath. Mrs Hobhouse has been campaigning on a variety of transport issues locally. From opposing the expansion of Bristol Airport, to challenging bus cuts imposed by the Conservatives and calling for restrictions on Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) crossing Bath’s grade II* listed Cleveland Bridge, Wera stands in good stead to take over the portfolio.
In Bath & North East Somerset there have been scores of bus cuts after the Government discontinued Covid funding. This comes alongside passenger numbers which haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels. Similarly, airports across the country are experiencing huge delays and flight cancellations as a result of staff shortages caused by mass redundancies during the height of the pandemic and the massive surge in passenger numbers.
Wera Hobhouse MP has vowed to use the role to take on Conservative mismanagement of the UK’s transport system:
“The Conservatives have failed on transport across the country and it is impacting the lives of real people. I vow to use this new role to hold the Conservative Government to account and to call out their shambolic mismanagement of transport across the country.
“From the chaos at airports to nationwide bus cuts, it's obvious that the Conservatives are failing on transport. Grant Schapps has been missing during a national crisis and it's time that the Conservatives stopped ignoring this crucial problem. The chaotic scenes at airports up and down the country have been nothing short of a disaster. Families are missing out on holidays and travel plans have been thrown into disarray.
“In Bath, buses are in turmoil. The Conservatives engineered a bus driver shortage and then removed adequate funding. This led to widespread cuts which have been a kick in the teeth for locals. The Conservatives just aren’t listening. They have decimated local bus services and are refusing to pay attention to users’ needs. It is unacceptable that buses are being slashed at a time we should be encouraging people to use public transport.”