In a rural constituency like the Forest of Dean it is especially important that the local MP speaks up to ensure that residents are provided with the best possible infrastructure and this is a responsibility that I have always taken extremely seriously during my time in office.
Particularly topical in recent years has been broadband provision and I remain in regular close contact with Gigaclear – the company primarily responsible for the rollout of ultrafast broadband in the Forest of Dean. I have visited Gigaclear at their offices and joined them on site, laying fibre optic cables, to learn about the Fastershire project. 21,800 homes across the Forest of Dean and South Herefordshire will benefit from ultra-fast, direct to property fibre, with thousands already enjoying new speed of up to 900Mbps, a drastic improvement on the less than 20Mbps that many of them had before. I continue to intently monitor Gigaclear and Fastershire’s progress.
Also important to my constituents is our roads. Constituents often get in touch with me when they have traffic problems and I have regularly intervened with closures and roadworks where they have been unduly disruptive to my constituents, seeing to it that plans are revised to minimise disruption. I’ve also collaborated with Gloucestershire MPs over many years to see the A417 ‘missing link’ scheme built which has finally received approval – this will benefit drivers across the county.
Something I have campaigned on for a number of years, and continue to campaign for, is a Chepstow by-pass to ease traffic congestion in the southern part of the constituency. Although the Labour-run Welsh Government’s opposition to new road building is proving a block to the idea, nonetheless I continue to work with the MP for Monmouth, David TC Davies, to push for this important infrastructure project which will be of great benefit to my constituents.