MEDIA

Rail Users are being “Out Priced”

railways

UKIP’s transport spokesman Jill Seymour has said the Government are “Out Pricing” rail users

 

The price of a train ticket in Britain will go up by an average of 3.4% from the start of January – the largest increase since 2013.

The price rise includes regulated fares such as season tickets, and unregulated tariffs like off-peak leisure fares.

Mrs Seymour, a West Midlands MEP, said: “This is once again penalising those people who rely entirely on public transport to travel to their workplace.

“We are told that 97% of the money is reinvested in the railways, yet the stories we hear from commuters about tatty, overcrowded rolling stock suggest otherwise.

“The Government is constantly talking about encouraging people to ditch their cars and switch to public transport, yet the price of a rail ticket is already prohibitive for many, even before these latest rises.”

Paul Plummer, chief executive of industry trade body the Rail Delivery Group, said fare changes would provide cash for better services and investment, including the Thameslink and Great Northern rail upgrades.

Speaking from London Bridge station, where five new platforms have been opened, he said “no one” wants to pay more for tickets.
Mrs Seymour said: “The very least we expect to see is a similarly significant increase in the quality of our railway network.

“If it’s not forthcoming, then I can only assume that the rail operators are indeed laughing all the way to the bank, as the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union has suggested in the past.

“More than 10% of trains arrived late at their destination over the past year – you cannot continue to hike prices, without addressing shoddy customer service.”

UK must be attractive to electric car makers

electric

UKIP is calling on the Government to make the UK a more attractive investment location for electric car manufacturers.

Transport spokesman Jill Seymour, and small business spokesman Ernie Warrender, have raised concerns over the current lack of training schemes or incentives for the big motor firms.

Mrs Seymour has already spoken in the European Parliament about the need to speed up infrastructure investment for electric cars in the UK, in readiness fur a surge in demand.

She said: “It has become clear in recent months that Brexit has done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of automotive manufacturers to invest in the UK.

“Top brands such as Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and General Motors are stepping up their moves toward electrification – and it’s vital that we make the UK look like an appealing location.

“That means not only tearing up red tape to speed up the roll-out of more charging points, but also making sure the electric vehicle expertise is available for the car makers.

“A new era is dawning in the motor industry. Electric vehicles are about to really take off, and it’s no surprise that manufacturers are jostling for position to establish an early foothold. The UK needs to be at the forefront with them.”

Mr Warrender said: “We need to know what plans the Government has in place for organising apprenticeships, and creating the sort of tailor-made training and higher education courses which will woo manufacturers of electric vehicles.

“We also need to attract research and development businesses into this country, to cater for this radically new type of mass propulsion.”

Scrooge tells Oliver Twist: No, you can’t have any more…

scrooge

By Jill Seymour

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” We often find ourselves quoting Charles Dickens at this time of year, and that line seems particularly appropriate in 2017.

It’s been 18 months since more than 17.4 million British people voted to leave the European Union. Yes, LEAVE. That was the word on the ballot paper.

That was the best of times. The public most certainly did understand what they wanted, and now expect it to be delivered.

But since then, it’s been the worst of times. Our Government has failed to deliver anything approaching real independence from the EU.

Theresa May has played the role of Oliver Twist, stepping forward timidly with her begging bowl. But the Scrooge-like EU is standing firm saying ‘no, you can’t have any more’.

This tale of two cities, London versus Brussels, is not a two-way divorce settlement, but a case of one side taking all, leaving the other in a much weaker position.

I see no proper negotiations, just a fancily-wrapped parcel full of money given to the EU, while the UK public are left with poor services and a weak government.

It’s like Dickens’ own story A Christmas Carol . . . but without the happy ending.

We have seen the past, the present and now Michael Gove’s recent remarks about the future, and it has become clear that we will never leave the EU, instead giving the public another biased referendum through the general election ballot box.

This is a betrayal that allows the EU and public funds to be used to discredit the majority who voted to leave. It seems increasingly likely that we will not have our independence – so much for acknowledging the public’s wish.

The draft agreement which ended phase one of the talks sees the European Court of Justice continuing to be the ultimate arbiter of EU citizens’ rights for at least another eight years.

What part of ‘taking back control’ from the Brussels bureaucrats does the Government not understand?

This is not a breakthrough. It’s more like a humiliating surrender, which leaves me fearing for the number of other ‘concessions’ which Theresa May will meekly make in the coming months.

It’s such a shame Mrs May does not have the steel and fortitude being shown by many businesses to make our independence work, expanding and putting into place a positive economic future. Our country can be self-determining, self-governing and free from the shackles of the EU, if only this Government believed in its people.

Referring back to Charles Dickens, may I ask you all to remember those on their own this Christmas. Snowfall may look picturesque, but not everyone can keep themselves warm, so if we can offer help this is an ideal time.

Wishing all readers a very happy Christmas, and a healthy and prosperous new year.

The EU is trying to drive British people out of their cars

electric

UKIP transport spokesman Jill Seymour has accused the European Union of trying to drive British people out of their cars in its quest to clamp down on vehicle emissions.

The West Midlands MEP was speaking at the European parliament in Strasbourg during a debate on a new report into the EU’s strategy for low-emission mobility.

“This report is all well and good if it continues to allow citizens the freedom to choose how they travel,” she said.

“It was after the 1997 Kyoto agreement that our then Chancellor Gordon Brown announced that diesel cars should attract less vehicle tax than their petrol equivalent because of their better CO2 performance.

“Then, in 2001, Mr Brown reduced vehicle tax on cars with low CO2 – this was a major change to encourage the public to buy diesel cars. Yet now we are increasingly seeing dramatic change to what forms of transport we are to use.”

Mrs Seymour said the report was seeking to ‘comprehensively reduce the attractiveness of private forms of transport’ with a policy that it’s the polluter that pays.

“In other words, the EU are driving us out of our cars.”

She added: “What I do find positive is a move towards zero emissions based on consumer choice. I stress, consumer choice.

“What I don’t find helpful, however, is the kneejerk solutions that punish the driver before any proper infrastructure is in place.”

Mrs Seymour said it was clear that electric vehicles are becoming much more efficient and user friendly, but many people lack the money to change their cars.

“Just as citizens need time to prepare, so does the manufacturing industry. They still have forecourts full of petrol and diesel cars. Encouraging the development of hybrids will help aid the transition.

“UK based Jaguar-Land Rover is one company, like others, who have recognised the need to change and they should be commended on their projects. They are reducing nitrogen oxide and particles which are harmful.

“It is wrong for the EU to force a change though financial penalties, dividing those who can afford and those who can´t.

“Whilst some parts of this report are moving in the right direction, it will be up to the UK government, and they alone, to set the standards, once we gain our independence in 2019.”

Rail price rise is penalising those who rely on public transport

train tickets

UKIP’s transport spokesman Jill Seymour has condemned the latest inflation-busting rise in rail fares.

The price of a train ticket in Britain will go up by an average of 3.4% from the start of January – the largest increase since 2013.

The price rise includes regulated fares such as season tickets, and unregulated tariffs like off-peak leisure fares.

Mrs Seymour, a West Midlands MEP, said: “This is once again penalising those people who rely entirely on public transport to travel to their workplace.

“We are told that 97% of the money is reinvested in the railways, yet the stories we hear from commuters about tatty, overcrowded rolling stock suggest otherwise.

“The Government is constantly talking about encouraging people to ditch their cars and switch to public transport, yet the price of a rail ticket is already prohibitive for many, even before these latest rises.”

The Rail Delivery Group has admitted that it is a ‘significant increase in fares’.

Mrs Seymour said: “The very least we expect to see is a similarly significant increase in the quality of our railway network.

“If it’s not forthcoming, then I can only assume that the rail operators are indeed laughing all the way to the bank, as the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union has suggested.

“More than 10% of trains arrived late at their destination over the past year – you cannot continue to hike prices, without addressing shoddy customer service.”

New driving test is a breach of the Highway Code

roadsigns

Changes to the UK driving test are encouraging motorists to break the Highway Code, according to UKIP transport spokesman Jill Seymour.

Mrs Seymour, a West Midlands MEP, wrote to transport secretary Chris Grayling last month to raise her concerns.

Now the controversial new driving test regulations, which are supposed to offer a more realistic assessment of driving skills, have come into force.

Mrs Seymour said: “I received a letter from a concerned constituent relating to changes being made to the driving test, which appear to contravene rule 239 of the Highway Code.

“The rule states that drivers should not park facing against the traffic flow, but the new test says ‘pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around two car lengths, and rejoin the traffic’.

“My constituent’s concern, which I share, is the potential for conflict in rejoining traffic against the flow of oncoming vehicles – plus, at night, the potential for dazzling headlights.

“The beam of UK headlights is designed to project to the left, which will cause problems for oncoming drivers if a car or van is parked or stopped on the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming vehicles.”

In her letter to Mr Grayling, she said: “I would be interested to know what evidence has been considered concerning the safety of encouraging vehicles to cross the flow of traffic and allowing or encouraging vehicles to stop or park facing oncoming traffic, especially at night when headlights will be dazzling and impairing the vision of drivers.

“It seems to me that removing potential conflict in traffic flows is a good way to help promote road safety. Introducing the potential for conflict by encouraging vehicles to cross the flow of traffic can only increase the risk and potential for collision.”

Under the new test rules, drivers are allowed to follow directions from a satnav, the independent driving part of the test will double in length, and people will no longer be tested on certain reversing manoeuvres.

Rare manoeuvres, such as reversing around a corner, are being replaced by more common scenarios, such as entering a parking bay.

 

Local authorities must act on HS2 before it’s too late

railways

 

West Midlands MEP Jill Seymour is urging local authorities to follow the example being set by Stafford – and challenge the HS2 rail project before it is too late.

Stafford Borough Council has set aside £65,000 to create a ‘fighting fund’ for petitioning parliament over the widespread disruption which the project is set to cause.

Mrs Seymour, who is UKIP’s transport spokesman, said: “The numbers simply don’t add up for HS2, but the Government stubbornly refuses to listen.

“Perhaps the only way that action will ever be taken is if local authorities all take this small window of opportunity to challenge the proposals, pointing out how many lives it is set to destroy.”

The Hybrid HS2 Bill, which is currently out for consultation, is the only opportunity for local authorities, community groups, and individuals to challenge the plans.

Mrs Seymour said: “It’s not just the people whose homes will be bulldozed to clear space for the line; there are railheads, viaducts and other construction proposals which will cause long-term misery.

“I would urge all local authorities with concerns about the way HS2 will impact on its communities, and the environment, to follow the example being set by Stafford, and air their views before it’s too late.

“People power is clearly the only way this Government is ever going to be forced to reconsider this flawed and financially bloated vanity project.”

Mixed bag for road users announced in the 2017 Budget

electric

Philip Hammond’s budget has served up a mixed bag of measures for road users, according to UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour.

She welcomed the investment in more charging points to keep pace with the growth in demand for electric cars, but condemned the chancellor for again ‘demonising’ drivers of diesel cars.

On the decision to increase road tax for older diesel cars, she said: “He is punishing less affluent families who can’t afford to buy a replacement.

“What makes this particularly galling is that many of these people only bought their diesel cars on Government advice in the first place!”

Mrs Seymour also accused Mr Hammond of ‘closing his ears’ to the growing financial burdens of HS2.

He announced that he would invest £300 million to ensure HS2 infrastructure can accommodate future Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine rail improvements.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. HS2 is a vanity project with a budget which is spiralling out of control.

“The Chancellor talked about looking forward for Britain, and not back. HS2 only exists because we are pandering to the desires of the European Union’s transport chiefs.

“We’re going to be out of the EU in little over a year’s time – why saddle ourselves with something we don’t want, don’t need, and will be no benefit whatsoever for the vast majority of people who have to pay for it?”

Mrs Seymour raised the issue of electric car capacity in the European Parliament last week, calling on British industry leaders to help speed up the roll-out of electric car charging points.

“I see all the benefits of electric vehicles, but I do have some concerns. Currently in the UK, we do not have enough rapid chargers to support the growth of electric vehicles. We need industry leaders to speed up the roll-out.”

 

Electric cars: Remove red tape and let market take its course

electric

UKIP transport spokesman Jill Seymour has called on British industry leaders to help speed up the roll-out of electric car charging points.

Speaking in the European Parliament at Strasbourg, she said: “I’ve been calling for railways to be electrified, but unfortunately in the UK, many of these projects have been dropped.

“I see all the benefits of electric vehicles, however I do have some concerns.

“Currently in the UK, we do not have enough rapid chargers to support the growth of electric vehicles. We need industry leaders to speed up the roll-out of chargers.

“Our local planning offices should streamline this process. The best way to encourage the pubic to adopt electric vehicles is to allow nation states to cut taxes and import tariffs.

“Let’s remove red tape, and allow the market to take its course.”

Traffic lights on motorways? It just doesn’t make sense

light1

Plans to install traffic lights on motorways to ease rush hour congestion have been slammed as ‘ridiculous’ by UKIP transport spokesman Jill Seymour.

Highways England plans to install lights at the junction of the M6 and M62 near Warrington, to operate during the busiest times of day, as part of a £7 million trial.

Although traffic lights already operate on many slip roads, this is the first time they will have been placed on the motorway itself.

“This is a ridiculous idea, which is wrong on so many levels,” said Mrs Seymour, a West Midlands MEP.

“It flies in the face of the latest research which shows that pollution is at its worst when cars are sitting in stationary traffic. And the Government is all too quick to penalise drivers for their emissions these days.

“Why can we not just leave this motorway system alone, and let drivers find their own perfectly sensible ways of merging into the flow of traffic?

“Instead of wasting money on this daft scheme, perhaps the Government should consider spending the £7 million by making a start on fixing potholes and repairing damaged road surfaces.”

Official figures show that the number of vehicles on our roads has risen by more than 30 per cent over the past two decades.

Mrs Seymour added: “You have to ask yourself the question – why have we seen motorway traffic grow at a faster rate than on any of our other roads?

“The answer is that, for many people, there is currently no practical or affordable alternative which is fit for purpose.”

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