MP's Column

A vibrant tourism sector relies on good transport networks and, at the moment, public transport is nowhere near to offering a viable alternative to cars for most tourists. Therein lies the problem. As more and more people switch to electric vehicles there are significant implications for Cornish tourism.

People arrive on their holidays roughly at the same time on the same days and lots of electrical vehicles will need to be charged. How we provide the charging capacity for hotels, resorts, camping and caravan sites has yet to be properly considered but the challenge is fast approaching.

In a speech in Parliament last week I urged the Department for Transport to give consideration to the need to radically increase charging capacity and infrastructure to ensure Cornwall remains the location of choice for hardworking families to decarbonise, detox and unwind!

I also called for cash to deliver a resilient, affordable and accessible transport link between the Isles of Scilly and Penzance. The current transport provision is the primary concern for residents on Scilly who rely on this link for the goods and food they need, for medical appointments and to sustain tourist travel which makes up the lion share of the Scilly economy. This is a current topic of conversation between our local Transport Board and the Department for Transport. Cash is needed to work up a plan for a resilient, affordable and accessible transport link between the Isles of Scilly and Penzance. 

Parliament is not sitting next week so I am ramping up the ‘drop-in’ events that I’ve continued to host this year. These take place at: 

The Star Inn, St Just ‪Friday, 14th Feb 5.30pm-6.30pm,

The North Inn, Pendeen on ‪Monday, 17th February 5.30pm-6.30pm and St Buryan Inn on the same evening at 7.30pm-8.30pm.

On Wednesday, 19th February Star Inn, St Erth 5.30pm-6.30pm and the Sportmans’ Arms, Heamoor ‪7.30pm-8.30pm.

On Friday, 21st February Central Methodist Church, Helston 8.30-10.00am, the Atlantic, Porthleven ‪5.30pm-6.30pm and the Lion and Lamb, Ashton 7.30pm-8.30pm.

These continue on Saturday, 22nd February starting at the Galleon Fish & Chip shop, Mullion ‪10am-11am, The New Inn, Manaccan ‪12noon-1.00pm, the White Hart, St Keverne ‪2pm-3.00pm and Praa Sands Holiday Park, 4pm-5.00pm.

For those of you who would prefer a private appointment, please contact my office to find out when these are available in your area. 

Included in transport investment announcements this week was funding to put at least 4,000 zero-emissions buses on the network and 250 extra miles of dedicated cycle routes. We are in a good position to be early benefactors due to an abundance of ambition to deliver a greener public service in Cornwall and plans to create dedicated improved cycle routes such as the Bay-to-Bay scheme from Penzance across to Hayle (and dare I suggest, through to St Ives) and the route from Helston to Porthleven via Penrose Woods. On this theme I took part in a round-table discussion hosted by Prospect Magazine with the transport sector on how to tackle air pollution and grow the green economy.