Stephen Williams MP - working hard for Bristol West

Stephen Williams MP takes Brunel's achievements to Parliament

2.56.39pm BST (GMT +0100) Thu 30th Mar 2006

Stephen Williams (photography: Tim Pollard)

Lib Dem MP for Bristol West, Stephen Williams, is calling on his fellow MPs from around the country to recognise the brilliance of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and to back Bristol's celebrations this year for the 200th anniversary of his birth.

In a commons motion put forward by Mr Williams he emphasises the huge number of Brunel projects which are still in use today, both in Bristol and across the country.

Stephen said "Bristol has many things of which it can be proud, but the spectacular and revolutionary achievements of Brunel must be up there with the best of them. People of such vision and genius do not come along very often."

"I am greatly looking forward to attending the switching on of the suspension bridge lights in a week's time and will also greatly enjoy my visit to the SS Great Britain on Friday with the new Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell. The tourism that this and other attractions generate really help to put Bristol on the map, so we certainly have a lot to thank Brunel for. Indeed, in my first speech in parliament I paid tribute to what he has done for our city and the world of engineering in general."

"Let us hope that this year's celebrations will help to inspire the great engineers of tomorrow who will face different challenges in a different age, but who could be equally important in progressing the history of human achievement."

The text of Stephen Williams' Motion is as follows:

Bicentenary of the birth of I K Brunel

That this House notes the bicentenary of the birth on 9th April 1806 of the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel; acknowledges that much of Brunel's work endures to this day, most notably the line of the Great Western Railway from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads; the extension of the line to Cornwall including the Royal Albert Bridge over the Tamar; the Taff Vale Railway from Cardiff to Merthyr Tydful and Aberdare; further notes that the greatest concentration of Brunel's achievement was in the City of Bristol where he designed the Clifton Suspension Bridge and built the world's first iron clad propeller driven ocean-going liner, the SS Great Britain; further notes that Bristol plans a series of commemorative events throughout 2006 and recognises that the achievements of Brunel in the nineteenth century stand as an inspiration to the engineers and designers of today.

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