Our community needs a better transport system, from trains and buses to roads and cycling. Living in Bladon, I know first-hand that that congestion on the A40 is a daily issue for many of us, and we need reliable public transport to provide a realistic alternative.
Since becoming your MP, I have been campaigning for upgrades to the A40, which has included delivering a petition to Parliament signed by thousands of local residents. I have brought the Secretary of State for Transport to the A40 to see for himself the standstill traffic, and have had many meetings with Ministers and the County and District Council Leaders.
In 2019, I was delighted to deliver £102m of central government funding for A40 upgrades - the largest investment in the A40 in a generation. This funding comes on top of the £38 million already being invested by Oxfordshire County Council.
This success is cause for massive celebration throughout West Oxfordshire, and I will continue to work closely with our local authorities as work progresses on delivering these important upgrades.
Of course, roads are only part of the picture. West Oxfordshire's railways are a real asset that need to be improved to ensure that West Oxfordshire keeps moving in the years ahead. With eight stations in West Oxfordshire, we have the potential for trains to become a key part of an integrated local transport network - linking with our roads, buses and active travel infrastructure.
I am leading the campaign for improvements to the Cotswold Line, and have led a debate in Parliament on the matter, during which I outlined the case for various upgrades to our railways in West Oxfordshire - you can watch this in full here. I also held a public meeting in Charlbury to discuss your priorities for the future of West Oxfordshire's railways.
I am pleased to say that we have achieved many of these upgrades in recent months, with top-of-the-range new trains, platform extensions, station parking improvements, and a new station building at Hanborough, making it a staffed station for the first time in over 50 years.
These significant upgrades now achieved, I am intensifying my campaign to deliver further re-doubling of the Cotswold Line, which is crucial in enabling more frequent and reliable trains on the line.
Linking train and bus services are essential. For many of our rural communities, buses are a lifeline for many to get to work, school, to appointments and to see friends. That is why I have been campaigning for more community transport services, and founded the first-ever All-Party Parliamentary Group for Community Transport. Working with OurBus Bartons in my previous role as District Councillor, I am pleased that this service has gone from strength to strength, and other groups such as West Oxfordshire Community Transport as also growing. I have campaigned in Parliament to promote West Oxfordshire as an example of best practice, even bringing the Minister for Transport, Jesse Norman, to see OurBus Bartons for himself.