In Twickenham, many of our businesses are doing well, and I am delighted that the Government will give our council power to cut business rates, which I know are a burden for many small firms. The Rugby World Cup was a great success and benefited the local economy, but I know from talking to some business owners and residents at a local meeting I held and from many other conversations that they missed out. I am talking to the RFU about what more it can do to support our local area.
As a regular commuter between my local station in Twickenham and central London, I share the concerns that many residents have about the quality of our local train services. We need longer, more frequent trains, and our stations need to be more accessible. As you may be aware, the South Western rail franchise is due for renewal in 2017, and this provides us with an opportunity to secure the changes we all want to see.
It’s good news that plans for Crossrail 2 mean that it should come to our constituency, reaching Hampton, Fulwell, Teddington, and Hampton Wick stations, as well as Hampton Court. I know that there are concerns that it will not come to Twickenham station, and I will be bringing Crossrail representatives to Twickenham for a public meeting to explain their decision.