We use different transport in East Devon than those living and working in central London. In East Devon, over half of people in employment travel to work by driving a car or van.

I'd argue the cost of fuel, reduced congestion, and repairing potholes are the priorities for people here.

This Conservative government is continuing to back motorists across the UK. Successive Conservative Chancellors – dating back to 2011 – have frozen fuel duty to soften prices at the pumps. As Chancellor, Rishi Sunak went even further and cut fuel duty by 5p to protect the pounds in drivers’ pockets early last year. Here in East Devon, multi-million-pound government funding will deliver the Dinan Way road extension in Exmouth to improve journeys and cut congestion.

And, this week, a new long-term plan to back drivers and put the brakes on anti-car measures was announced by Transport Secretary Mark Harper.

The measures include reviewing guidance on 20mph speed limits in England to prevent their blanket use in areas where it’s not appropriate, and amending guidance on low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) to ensure proper local support. I firmly believe that local traffic measures need to have the support of residents, businesses, and emergency services – rather than working for council planners to tick boxes. 

Backing drivers sits alongside the continued investment in public transport.

As popular as the car is in East Devon, catching the bus is certainly an affordable alternative as the government's £2 fare cap continues to keep costs down. After many previous meetings with Stagecoach bosses, I was really pleased when evening bus services serving Sidbury and Ottery St Mary were reinstated and a 15 minute frequency brought in for the 57 between Exeter and Exmouth – a route that has seen 30% passenger growth.

As a Devon MP and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Great South West, I have also been campaigning for government funding for a new railway station for Cullompton. Following my meetings with the Chancellor, Transport Secretary and Rail Minister, I am hoping for progress soon.