16 January 2024
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown speaks in GWR debate

I was delighted to participate in the GWR debate in Westminster Hall. Rail travel is important to my constituents because the north is serviced by the north Cotswolds line from Oxford to Hereford and the south of the constituency can reach Swindon and Paddington from Kemble station. 

The good points coming out of the debate are that rail passenger numbers have recovered quite strongly since COVID-19 and the government has invested £5 billion into the Great Western route, including £2.8 billion to continue improvements on routes. I made the point that many young people cannot afford to drive a car and therefore punctual rail travel is essential. 

Rail is a more carbon-friendly way of travelling and the Government must invest to encourage more people to use trains rather than driving. However, for people to use trains regularly they need to have reliable and punctual services, I asked the Minister to work with Network Rail and GWR to ensure that improving the service for my constituents would be a priority. Finally, services at train stations must be improved, on a recent visit to Kemble station in the middle of the day, the waiting room and toilet facilities were closed. An easy improvement to make would be ensuring these facilities are open.


With Rail Minister Huw Merriman MP in Westminster Hall