I WATCHED with some bemusement as Bishop Auckland MP, Dehenna Davison, pronounced on BBC Politics Live that her top infrastructure priority for Bishop Auckland constituency is to spend millions on an A68 bypass around Toft Hill, adding hastily that doing so would boost our economy.

Really? Our area’s biggest economic hope for the next five years?

I expected something more holistic. Improved peak-time public transport links between parts of the constituency with few jobs to those with abundant jobs? Rejuvenating a former industrial site with a new “green-tech” industrial park, incentivising businesses to move in and employ latent workers?

Injecting new life and purpose into our traditional retailing quarters helping them reconfigure and thrive?

Instead, we’re informed it’s more important to buy land, dig up hedges, and build yet another road, with a side benefit of shortening journey times between West Auckland and Weardale by ten seconds or so.

I am elated for the residents of Toft Hill, recently having become near neighbours of Ms Davison, that their lives will be somewhat quieter or safer with less through-traffic.

Though we hoped for a more aspirational, broadly beneficial top priority for our towns and villages overall.

Dave Reynolds, Shildon.