In July, it was a great joy for me to attend the graduation of Anglia Ruskin University’s first cohort of medical students. This is the first time that medical doctors have ever been trained in Essex.
Our medical school started just five years ago following the Conservative Government’s decision to invest in five new medical schools across the UK. Chelmsford’s medical school was the first of the new schools to open and I had been involved in the campaign to have a medical school here since I first became the MP for Chelmsford. The medical school has had outstanding results, with retention rates way above the national average. Many of the new doctors want to stay working in the NHS in the local area Essex, which is excellent news for our local NHS.
Ensuring that Chelmsford has the infrastructure we need for our growing city is always one of my top priorities. Work continues on delivering the new Beaulieu Rail Station.
Many residents are keen to have more news on the opening of the Generals Lane Bridge. Whilst the bridge looks complete, there are still some highway and resurfacing works required where the bridge connects with the Boreham Interchange that need to be completed. This will require a temporary closure of the Boreham Interchange.
I understand that new signage, road markings and traffic lights must all be installed in order for this bridge to be safely opened to the public, which may also involve a temporary closure of the Great Eastern Mainline.
Local residents will be informed about the possible closure via advanced warning signs and on social media. I am continuing to push for this to be completed as soon as possible so that the bridge may open this autumn.
On the subject of transport, bus passenger numbers dropped dramatically during the pandemic. However, over the past year, passenger numbers have increased by around 15% on most Chelmsford routes. This is partly because of the extra funding from Government which is supporting the £2 bus fare offer. Bus services in Chelmsford have also become considerably more reliable, currently 98.7% of timetabled is being achieved. I am told this is one of the highest rates in the country. The £2 bus fare is running on all First Bus Essex routes.
Over the summer, I have been out and about talking to residents. Hundred of people have already filled in my Residents Survey, it has been extremely helpful for me to see your priorities and your views and opinions will enable me to deliver better services for our area. If you haven’t already done so, please take a minute to fill it in by visiting my website on this link: www.vickyford.uk/residents-survey-summer-2023.