Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 27 October 2016


I greatly enjoyed visiting the sustainable traffic fair at Ivybridge on Saturday. Whether it is my age I am not sure, but I find myself increasingly supportive of these initiatives to promote modes of transport that are sustainable. Obviously, cycling or walking are very good for your health as well as planet-friendly as they do not gobble up finite resources.

Public transport has always been unsatisfactory in our area so it was good to see GWR and Citybus both present to listen to the views of local people. A few years ago Ivybridge train station was rarely used. Now several services a day stop there in both directions. When we get the new trains in 2018, several more trains a day will stop there. If you have never considered travelling from there, especially into Plymouth, it is worth looking at the timetable. I now regularly get off at Ivybridge if I am able to catch the 7.45pm from Paddington, which arrives at 11.10pm at Ivybridge, meaning I can be in bed before midnight.

I sat in the new BMW hybrid electric car – a snip at £104,000. But electric cars are coming and I suspect that many of us will gradually acquire them over the years. Electricity can be created sustainably. Once some bright teenager has discovered how to store electricity more efficiently than now – they will replace existing cars.

Cycling is a mode of transport that is undervalued in our part of the world. During rush hour in London there are literally hundreds of cyclists haring down the cycle lanes on their way to work and back. The key to this is safe joined-up cycle lanes, at which we have been slow to act. It is important to keep our local authorities focussed on these issues. The cycling community have been wonderfully patient.

I saw the new bikes with an electric motor and find myself tempted to acquire one. I need to get fit and cycling seems the best option. It would also enable me to go out with Jan on long rides on her new happy-hacker horse which joined us over the summer, the magnificent but slightly hairy Topsy.

I will never be an eco-warrior but I deeply respect the people who are. They have shifted public opinion in the right direction. Fossil fuels are running out and obesity is becoming a national epidemic. Why not crack two birds with one stone: get on your bike.

posted by Gary @ 09:03