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Written by the MP for Dover and Deal

As this year goes on, things seem more and more clear. The deployment of the vaccine has been a huge success. The virus has receded. Traffic volumes at the port of Dover have risen sharply since the start of the year. Better yet, Britain is expected to experience the fastest growing in over 50 years.

Now we need to make sure we’re ready to make the most of it. Nowhere is this more important than in our transport links. We may be recovering from the pandemic, but it has changed a lot. Not the least of the work models where people have worked from home here in Dover and Deal.

As workplaces reopen, workers can only go to their workplace two or three times a week while working from home one or two days. Yet our rail services operate on the basis of monthly and annual subscriptions for commuters. What rail travelers increasingly need is a book-type system, in which regular travelers can purchase a book of cheaper tickets to use throughout the year.

A more flexible form of ticketing that would also be a welcome boost for part-time workers, who too often end up paying more for their commute to work.

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While we were all locked in, rail services were cut to reflect a drop in demand. It also cut costs, as the government stepped in with millions of pounds in funding to keep trains running, including peak fast train services to Deal.

As the recovery takes hold, I am campaigning for all of our broadband services to be restored as soon as possible. It was so hard to get them in the first place. Train tickets should be more flexible and affordable, with full train times to encourage the use of public transport.

Trains are not the only type of infrastructure needed to help us take full advantage of the recovery. The importance of reliable and affordable broadband has been emphasized over the past year. I have been working there for some time and got some commitments in the Openreach program. They must now be delivered to the field.

We also need to see the necessary road investments. As the Brock barriers are removed from the M20, I want to see faster progress on options for dualling and A2 roundabout improvements from Lydden to Whitfield via Duke of York straight into the harbor.

As we recover, we can be more and more optimistic. We have the feeling that we have taken a step forward. We are looking more and more towards the future that we can do. Here at Dover & Deal, I am determined to champion the cause so that we get the road, rail and broadband infrastructure we need. To get the most out of things now and in the years to come.

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