Our community needs better local transport, from trains and buses to roads and cycling, I have been working hard to campaign for residents on these matters.
Improving the A40
Since becoming your MP, I have been campaigning for upgrades to the A40.
I was delighted to have secured £106,756,836 in funding for Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) in 2021. Work on the Eynsham Park and Ride is underway, and construction work is due to be completed this year. Phase 1 of the upgrades to the A40 including improved access between Witney and Oxford – as well as dedicated bus lanes between Eynsham Park and Rise & Oxford, additional controlled crossings and upgraded shared-use paths to make walking and cycling safer between Witney and Oxford is underway.
I hold frequent meetings with the team at OCC to discuss these upgrades and make sure everything possible is done to deliver on the long-awaited project to improve the A40 as soon as possible.
Delivering upgrades to the Cotswold Train Line
I have been campaigning alongside the North Cotswold Line Taskforce for some time to deliver upgrades to the Cotswold line which include the Hanborough Station Masterplan.
I was reassured in the summer to hear that the Councils have now agreed to provide funding to commission the development of a masterplan for the station. However, much more action is needed to make these necessary improvements to Hanborough station and the Cotswold Lines more widely.
I have been keeping up the pressure on the local councils as well as with the Minister for Railways, Huw Merriman, and I can assure you that I will be doing all I can to push for upgrades to take place as soon as possible.
Holding Great Western Rail to account
On a number of occasions, I have written to GWR to raise my concerns with them over: repeated delays & cancelled trains as well as railway line closures such as the emergency closure of the Nuneham Viaduct last summer resulting in misery for West Oxfordshire commuters.
I continue to raise my concerns with GWR regularly to ensure they are held to account for any unnecessary inconvenience caused to those travelling by rail.
Long-term repairs for our roads
In the lead up to the spring budget last year I campaigned and delivered £2,629,000 of extra investment for Oxfordshire’s roads last and this year, and over the next 10-year period Oxfordshire will receive a total of £82,340,000 in funding, which has been redirected from HS2 – the biggest ever uplift in funding for local road improvement.
Extension of the Bus Fare Cap
This Conservative Government has acted to freeze bus fares until the end of December 2024 as part of a £200 million investment nationally. The bus fare cap had been due to rise to £2.50 but thanks to this Conservative Government’s decision to redirect HS2 funding in ‘Network North’, the £2 cap will remain in place this year.
Within the package it has also been confirmed that £300 million has been allocated to supporting vulnerable bus routes and improve services until 2025.
This plan takes the total government investment to keep bus fares down to nearly £600 million – with over 140 operators signing up to continue offering the cap across more than 5,000 routes.