Robert’s Weekly Swindon Adver Column – 29 August 2017

On Sunday I will be running the Swindon Half Marathon to help raise money for a local charity which I have worked closely with for a number of years, Dressability. To pledge your support, please visit:

Dressability was formed in 1998 and is one of only two independent clothing services in the UK which caters specifically for the needs of disabled people. Dressability works with other local voluntary organisations, disability support groups, social workers and healthcare professionals to provide clothing for people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and the elderly. If you would like to learn more about the fantastic work that Dressability does for our community, please visit

This week I have been out with Councillors Tim Swinyard, Caryl Sydney-Smith and Vinay Kumar in Grange Park, speaking to residents about how we can make Hay Lane safer. Swindon Borough Council are currently considering several potential options to reduce the speed of traffic on Hay Lane, particularly around the crossing. The Grange Park Councillors and I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this issue: please email

I have also been working with representatives from ‘Great Western Railway’ to discuss improvements to their cycle reservation system. The compulsory reservations on the new high speed trains were an issue for cyclists who often did not know their time of travel before they set off for the station, especially for return journeys.

GWR have agreed to introduce an online booking system and to allow cyclists to reserve a cycle space rights up until the train arrives. GWR are in the process of piloting the new system with a number of cycle groups and individual cyclists. The pilot should be concluded by the end of September, ensuring that the new booking system will be in place by early October. This will mean that simpler, more immediate reservations will be possible before the ten car Intercity Express trains start into passenger service this autumn.

In national news, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union is in Brussels this week for the third round of negotiations.

Since the last round of talks, the UK Government has published a large number of position papers covering important issues related to our withdrawal, and our vision for the deep and special partnership we want with the European Union in the future.

We want to agree a deal that works in the best interests of both the EU and the UK, and people and businesses right across Europe. Our position papers are the products of the hard work and detailed thinking that has been going on behind the scenes over the past 12-months, and should form the basis of a constructive week of talks between the EU Commission and the UK.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone who received either A-Level or GCSE results in the past couple of weeks. I wish you all the very best of luck in the future.