Guest column: Action needed now to tackle A1 safety worries

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Congratulations to all those involved in North Nottinghamshire Pride in Worksop last weekend.

The event was a huge success with an impressive turnout, great acts and entertainment.

I was particularly pleased to see Holly Simmonds perform. Holly had just returned from my summer school in London and sang wonderfully.

Well done to the organisers for a great day.

An issue creating a lot of concern locally is safety on the A1.

After a fatal crash in March a petition was set up calling for safety to be improved and congestion to be eased.

Thousands of people have now signed the petition.

Following that crash I called on the Transport Secretary to authorise a full safety review, especially considering that some of the slip roads are acknowledged to be dangerous.

There have been further crashes since March, including three weeks ago when the A1 was in chaos afterwards.

This week I am meeting with the government minister responsible for roads to work out what will be done.

There are often excuses for delays on improvements to road safety, which is why I am meeting with the minister directly.

The bridge at Elkesley was delayed for years and at one stage ‘scrapped’ entirely.

The situation was dangerous for drivers and local residents, who had to face the extra misery of being trapped in the village when there was a traffic standstill.

With the backing of the local campaign I put the right pressure on the Government and Elkesley now has its bridge.

I have put forward two Parliamentary motions on animal welfare.

I know from the thousands of emails and letters I receive on this topic that local people care deeply about animal welfare.

The first motion, which is one of the most supported motions since the election, is to ensure that the fox hunting ban stays in place.

The second is on the ivory trade and the crisis faced by African elephants, one of which is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory.

China has announced a domestic ivory trade ban by the end of the year and it is time the Government closed down the market in the UK.

If you own ivory already you would not be forced to give it up.

But the market itself should be closed down.

I am encouraged by the level of support my motions have received and will continue my work with wildlife charities on a UK and international level.

Next week I am meeting schoolchildren who won prizes for a competition I launched with the charity IFAW.

It is important that our children and grandchildren are aware of the importance of endangered species and animal welfare and that we all challenge those who allow animals to be harmed.