|This lunchtime I met my MP David Cameron who also happens to be Leader of the Opposition.
I met him to discuss the problems faced by users of the Swinford toll bridge which I have been blogging about for months now.
I took with me Jon Quelch, a ‘scrap the tolls’ campaign supporter, who has been using the bridge since (as he says) pre-demical coinage.
My main question for Mr Cameron was: In the face of complete inertia from West Oxfordshire District Council, and Oxfordshire County Council’s unwillingness to even face the problem, can you help me and thousands of others who suffer the daily delays and pollution caused by toll collection at the bridge?
David Cameron prepared a statement for me. In it he says: “I can see the case for scrapping the toll. I have made a number of contacts with the County Council and will help in any way I can. It’s a difficult and complicated situation. I use the bridge myself and sympathise with people frustrated by the delays.”
|Of course, it isn’t within David Cameron’s remit to make decisions about matters like the scrapping the tolls on the bridge.
It is his job, however, to support his constituents – like me – in putting pressure on those that should be making change happen. And Mr Cameron clearly states: I … will help in any way I can. This is excellent news.
He said that just because it is a highly complex issue that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be addressed. We agreed that the attitude of the district and county councils seems to be it’s too difficult so let’s put it in a box and forget about it for a while. I and many others including David Cameron, feel it’s time the County Council opened that box and did something.
So what’s next?
Next I meet with the Important Transport People from the County Council in early June and in the meantime continue to collect signatures on my online petition here.
The news that the County Council plans to build another bridge to replace the beautiful but crumbling 12th century bridge at Newbridge three miles upstream from Swinford is surely the sweetest of music to the ears of Swinford bridge users.
…but (as they say) more on that story later… I have the finishing touches to put to my exhibition now. It opens tomorrow!