N-S divide – what about the SW?

Articles like this being a wry smile to my face for there is so much discussion about the north-south divide. I’ve lived in the north and can see their point that investment in infrastructure takes a very poor second place to investment in the all-important south-east.

The south-east gets priority for everything because that is where government ministers and officials spend their time. Quite frankly, it suits them to invest in infrastructure in their back yards.

Ask for some infrastructure in the south-west, however, and it is a different story. Although we are in the ‘south’ we seem to get very little investment (oh yes, I know the North Devon link road is being improved, but 60 miles to the nearest railways station is something people up country simply don’t believe). I bang on about rail travel here but it is crucial for any region to have transport infrastructure, and we simply don’t. Not only that but the politicos in Westminster, in true Rhett Butler style, frankly don’t give a damn.

I was thinking only yesterday: what if we had a tram for Barnstaple to Bude? Imagine how easy that would be for people travelling to work, the railways station, the hospital, school, and so on. It’s a pipe dream, but one reason it remains so is that no one in government is interested in rural transport in the south-west. If they had to commute daily to Exeter, Plymouth or Barnstaple from Bude, things would soon change. Meanwhile, we are stuck with cars on the winding A39.

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