PM pledges to improve Shropshire and Mid Wales roads with growth deal

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to improve transport networks across the Shropshire and Welsh border as part of his Conservative manifesto ahead of the General Election.

Boris Johnson launched his manifesto in Telford
Boris Johnson launched his manifesto in Telford

Mr Johnson has announced that the Tories will negotiate a Marches Growth Deal which would include infrastructure improvements and internet connectivity.

He was critical of Labour for not delivering cross-border road schemes such as Middletown, Pant to Llanymynech and Chepstow bypasses, and insisted: "We need to change this."

The PM's main manifesto launch was in Telford yesterday and his Welsh manifesto launch is in Wrexham today.

He said: "With a Conservative majority government, we will improve connectivity and infrastructure across the whole of our country.

"This exciting Marches Growth Deal is part of that bold vision and will make a real difference for people on both side of the border.

“Labour has a rotten record in Wales and has let down people across Wales badly, from healthcare services to a lack of investment in transport networks. The Conservative party will put that right.

“But in order to unleash this domestic agenda and deliver our exciting plans for Wales, we need to get Brexit done, move on from the division of the past few years and get parliament working for you again. Then the Welsh dragon will roar louder than ever before.”

The Prime Minister has also been backed to return to Number 10 by Shropshire Star readers in a new survey.

Almost half of respondents said Mr Johnson was most fit to be Prime Minister out of the three main party leaders.

Less than 30 per cent put Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on top, ahead of Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson on 22 per cent.

But the poll also showed disillusionment with politicians generally – with only two per cent of those questioned believing they are doing a good job.

Boris Johnson: Deal will transform cross-border connectivity

In a direct message to Star readers, Prime Minister Boris Johnson sets out his goals for the future of the UK

Yesterday I set out my vision for the future of this great country under a Conservative majority government here in Shropshire. My vision to get Brexit done, the only party to be clear that we will honour the will of the people. My vision to move on and focus on people’s priorities and levelling up the whole country, ensuring people across Shropshire, in Wales and throughout the entire UK have equal opportunities.

Contrast this to Jeremy Corbyn’s plan simply for more dither and delay; a man who wants to remain neutral on the biggest issue we need to resolve, unable to decide how he would even vote on the deal he wants to negotiate. We need more than this from a leader.

Today I’ll be in Clwyd South to launch the Welsh Conservatives’ manifesto, setting out our plans to strengthen our union and to get on with investing in vital infrastructure so that communities on both sides of the English-Welsh border can grow and access the best opportunities this country has to offer.

But we can only turn our attention to delivering on our goals – be it increased public services funding or infrastructure across the border – if we can finally find a way past this constant dither and delay that has come to define British politics over the last few years.

A Conservative majority government will respect the vote of people in both Shropshire and Wales; people on both sides of the border who voted overwhelmingly to leave and get Brexit done so that we can get on with focusing on people’s priorities across the country, investing in our NHS and schools, tackling violent crime and helping people with the cost of living.

The Conservatives want to boost the UK’s economy, and to do this we’re already investing £790 million into four Growth Deals across the whole of Wales, benefiting people both sides of the border.

But that is far from the entirety of our ambitions.

Today I’ll be announcing a new Growth Deal that will transform cross-border connectivity between England and Wales. With a Conservative majority government, we will negotiate a Marches Growth Deal with the Welsh Government and local councils to invest in infrastructure and local economic growth across the border. We will make sure we improve cross-border connectivity, because we truly understand the importance of those links to communities on both sides of the border.

For every person who crosses the Welsh-English border to live, work, and access public services, it is just a line on the map. But for too long, crucial cross-border road schemes like the Middletown, Pant-Llanymynech and Chepstow bypasses have not been delivered. We need to change this so that we make people’s lives easier, helping those who cross the border every day to work, to travel, or to use incredible public services such as at hospitals here in Shropshire.

A Conservative government will deliver much-needed road improvements, boost local economies and co-operation between communities on both sides of the border, helping to level up opportunities for people across the country.

Communities in Mid Wales are part of a single economic cluster with communities across Shropshire, and the same is true for the Northeast of Wales and cities like Liverpool, and for Newport and Bristol. We need the right infrastructure in England and Wales to allow them to flourish.

And I have been very clear that with a Conservative majority government, we will improve connectivity across the whole of our country.

The truth is that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has a rotten record in Wales and has let down people on both sides of the border badly.

They have been in government in Wales for two decades and are badly failing public services: the Welsh NHS and education systems are the worst performing in the UK.

As a result, almost six times as many Welsh patients use the NHS in England as English patients use the Labour-run Welsh NHS. People deserve better than this, and only a vote for the Conservative Party will deliver our ambitious plans for this country.

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