Labour’s Tees Valley mayoral candidate says the government has failed to invest in the region’s infrastructure, amid the collapse of Flybe.
Jessie Joe Jacobs, who’s taking on Ben Houchen for the Tees Valley mayoral position in the May 7 election, says Teesside is suffering from substandard transport infrastructure.
Mayor Houchen moved to reassure local people across the region that Teesside International Airport is unaffected by the collapse of Flybe.
Eastern Airways, which run flights from Teesside Airport, operate as a franchise partner of Flybe, which means there’ll be no flight disruption.
Jessie Joe Jacobs said: “The loss of Flybe is devastating for staff, customers and the places Flybe served.
“It is clear the airline industry is vulnerable, and this situation highlights the reliance on air that many parts of the UK now have.
“This is due to the government’s failure to invest in our public transport infrastructure, particularly rail.
“We still do not have electrification of our railways, and plans for High Speed in North are on hold. Many parts of the UK, including Teesside, have substandard public transport.
“At a time of climate crisis and unstable world markets adding to the risks for the aviation industry, we need a genuine levelling up, and quickly in terms of regional railways.
“We are fortunate that in the Tees Valley, Eastern airways run Flybe routes and our services should be protected but it doesn’t make us any less vulnerable to this worrying outlook for British aviation.
“Rail needs to be pushed much further up the investment priorities for regional and national governments if we are to minimise the impact of further possible shifts in the air industry.
“Short term the government needs to find ways to get flights going back to these parts of the UK now cut off through the Flybe closure.”