06 OCT 2016

Victory in our campaign to end A20 40mph speed limit

Dover and Deal are iconic, historic towns. I truly believe the Dover and Deal constituency is the best seat in the country – and one which I love to serve. The life of an MP is a very busy one, much of which must be spent up at the House of Commons in London. But what I really love about my job is getting to meet the people who matter most – the people of Dover and Deal.

That's why it was great to hold street stalls in Dover and Deal on Saturday. The rain may have started to pour, but people were still keen to come up, say hello and let me know about the local issues affecting them.

Everyone was delighted we had fixed the Dover to Folkestone rail line way ahead of schedule. This is such a vital route for people from Dover and Deal. That's why I worked relentlessly to get it fixed as quickly as possible.

People were pleased the French have heeded my call to dismantle the Calais migrant camp. We must keep up the pressure and make sure they actually do it this time. People were also supportive of my plan for a new Dover Patrol to shield our shores from people traffickers and tackle illegal immigration.

There was also much positive feedback on the huge fall in joblessness in Dover and Deal since 2010 – especially in youth unemployment. Getting people into work is one of my greatest passions. That's why it's so important the Government spends more money on places like Dover and Deal, creating good jobs for youngsters when they leave school.

But there was one issue for Dover and Deal which everyone I spoke to on Saturday agreed needs sorting urgently – the A20. People were delighted to hear Highways England have caved in to my campaign and are finally ending the 40mph limit on the dual carriageway to Dover.

But they also urged me to press the Port of Dover to hurry up with finishing their roadworks on the A20 along the seafront. Drivers said they were fed-up of being stuck in gridlock on the way to and from work – and were being forced to drive through Dover town instead.

My greatest fear is that these roadworks will drag on way past the scheduled completion date. This is why Highways England should step in and make sure the Port of Dover has a plan to see the works are completed as soon as possible.

Much has been done over the past few months. Highways England's vow to end the 40mph limit on the A20 is a great victory for people power. Yet we need to see it through, make sure it happens and get the Harbour Board's A20 roadworks finished too.

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Charlie Elphicke

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