I took part in a major lobby of Parliament, when charities and individual residents met our Shadow Transport team and other MPs to raise the vital issue of climate change. This involved hundreds of people from across the country visiting Parliament and the lobby took place over several hours.
The Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonald, met a range of charities which wanted to discuss the danger of climate change, including Christian Aid and Cafod, this meeting also included a campaigner from Reading who was part of the delegation. I took part as Shadow Local Transport Minister, to respond on local transport issues, along with Shadow Aviation and Maritime Minister, Karl Turner, who responded on issues related to his portfolio.
We discussed Labour’s commitment to reducing the emissions from transport, which we believe can make a significant contribution to tackling climate change. This included discussing the importance of electrification, encouraging greater use of public transport and the importance of encouraging walking and cycling.
I then joined a larger group of residents from Reading East who had not been in the first meeting and who had come to London to meet me and discuss the urgent need for more action to tackle climate change.
I updated them on Labour’s proposals, such as greater electrification of the railways, giving councils power to do more to encourage bus use, through managing bus travel within their areas and also setting up new municipal companies. I also briefed them on our plans to invest in walking and cycling paths to encourage more local journeys to take place without using vehicles and I explained some of the wider context of Labour policy on the environment. I also answered a wide range of questions, on both national and local issues.
It was wonderful to meet so many committed people and am looking forward to working with the campaigners who came to Westminster and many other local people and other stakeholders on this important issue, which has such a close and important link to transport and which is so important to our community and the wider world.