AS THIS is my first article since the local elections I would like to take this chance to thank all those who took part in the electoral process.

Without all those willing to stand as candidates, campaign for them, and administer our elections, we would not be able to have democratic government. We should be grateful to all involved for their effort and commitment.

I was absolutely delighted to see the prime minister pledge to abolish the Severn Bridge tolls after the crossings are returned to the public sector next year. The abolition of the tolls is an issue I have campaigned for with many others since before the Assembly elections.

Abolition of the tolls is a great economic opportunity for south-east Wales and can only be achieved if a strong Conservative government is returned to Westminster on June 8.

For all the talk about the Severn Bridges, it is not only tolling on these road links which has held our region back, but limited access to rail links as well. Our region was particularly badly hit during the Beeching closures. In hindsight many of these closures were ill thought out and did not anticipate the needs of the future.

We are now paying for that lack of foresight. I am therefore proud to support the campaign to open a station for Magor and Undy.

The station would be within a 15 minute walk or cycle for over 7,000 people and provide a vital link into the national rail network. Monmouthshire and the valleys had previously been neglected by the National Rail network and the opening of a station at Magor and Undy would be a further step to correct this.

I have been pushing the first minister Carwyn Jones on the issue in the Assembly. He has conceded that we have been overlooked for stations east of Cardiff and this is something which should be corrected.

I will continue to campaign on this issue.

For south-east Wales to thrive we need better rail links electrified and integrated with better roads, including an M4 relief road. I will not let any level of government rest until we have solved this and, with your support, I will keep up the pressure until we succeed.