This week has seen major announcements from government on transport, including confirmation that a decision has been taken to proceed with HS2.

The Prime Minister has set out that, with the right reforms in place, HS2 will become the spine of the country’s transport network.

To many of you, these benefits may seem a long way from West Dorset and I understand and share your concerns.

My position on HS2 is that I initially supported the project but then became a sceptic because of costs and changes in passenger demand. It is my intention now to ensure that, as government is investing so heavily in HS2, we must also get what we need to meet our own transport needs here in West Dorset, and I have already had a meeting with the Prime Minister in that respect.

In order to get to grips with South West Railway’s ongoing poor performance I have also chaired our latest APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) for the South Western Railway area, attended by key railway leaders and the Minister of State for Railways. Fellow MPs and I scrutinised the work of SWR and Network Rail, discussing performance, strikes and re-franchising - tough questions were asked and I look forward to updating you on our plans to help retrieve the service.

Buses are also high on government’s agenda – which is good because they are high on ours too.

The Prime Minister has outlined his vision for a revolution in local transport with simpler fares, thousands of new buses, improved routes and higher frequencies.

I will be ensuring West Dorset has a voice in funding negotiations and that our rural mobility is not side-tracked. Already this week I have met with First Wessex Buses and am scheduled to meet with Dorset Council, to discuss rural bus services currently under immediate threat in the constituency, particularly the route between Crewkerne, Beaminster and Bridport.