Stephen Hammond gets transport post
Wimbledon's Tory MP Stephen Hammond has been promoted to a junior ministerial role in Prime Minister David Cameron's reshuffle.
Mr Hammond (left) has been appointed a Junior Minister at the Department for Transport and will have special responsbility for shipping.
He has been vocal in his criticism of plans to terminate Thameslink trains on the 'Wimbledon loop' at Blackfriars - ending the direct link to the City, St Pancras and Luton Airport.
Local campaigners will now hope he can have more influence on Network Rail's plans.
Merton's Conservative Group Leader Councillor Debbie Shears welcomed the announcement. She said: "Stephen’s appointment as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport is well deserved and he will be a fantastic addition to the Government’s frontbench team.
"His promotion will be beneficial for Londoners as he understands the complexities of transport issues within the capital. In Merton he has been vocal in campaigning against proposed changes to the Thameslink service that would mean an end to residents' direct train connections to St Pancras International, the City and Luton airport. I wish him well in his new role which is one I know he will enjoy."
Merton Conservatives' Transport Spokesman Councillor Richard Hilton said: "Stephen played an instrumental role in formulating many of the Government's flagship policies including the strategy for a new high speed rail network for the UK. He has a strong track record of campaigning on local transport issues including defending the Freedom Pass and working with Merton Conservative Councillors to secure the Mitcham Eastfields Station. Stephen will be a huge asset to the Department for Transport and to the maritime industry in particular”.
Richard Tracy, the London Assembly member for Merton and Wandsworth, added: "This is excellent news and well deserved after all the hard work Stephen did on transport issues in Opposition. It is a vital policy area with so much going on over rail developments as well as aviation. Having him doing this work as a London MP is also important with an increased focus on London transport matters. He worked hard as the Government's London link with the GLA during the London elections."
September 5, 2012