Swindon Bus Company has played a vital role within our local community during the COVID Pandemic, so I was delighted to attend the unveiling of six new British-built Alexander Denis Enviro 200 buses at the bus depot in Barnfield last Friday.
These latest new buses, which will be used on the Eldene, Liden and Dorcan routes, represent a £900K investment and have the potential to take a number of cars off the road, even whilst social distancing measures are in place.
Over the past three years, Swindon Bus Company has added a total of 27 new vehicles to their fleet in the town, with each bus sporting the latest Euro 6 low emissions engine, the cleanest standard for diesel. I am pleased that Swindon Bus Company are committed to investing in Swindon with sustainable transport.
I would also like to thank all of the dedicated team members at Swindon’s Bus Company who have worked extremely hard in difficult circumstances to provide transport during the COVID-19 Pandemic, especially for our many key workers across the town.
As a local community, we in Swindon have a great tradition of support for our armed forces, so the announcement last Thursday, that Swindon’s annual Remembrance Day service at the town centre Cenotaph would not be going ahead due to COVID 19, would have come as a great disappointment to hundreds of people across our town.
This news doesn’t mean that Remembrance Day itself is cancelled this year; we just need to find other ways to come together as a local community to mark this occasion and pay our respects in a different way. Both me and North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson are encouraging people here Swindon to do this by decorating their windows with poppies.
Printable Royal British Legion Poppies are available on our websites and social media pages to download and to colour. We are also calling on local schools and businesses to become involved and display poppies. In this new way, we can show our respect for those who served and for those who gave their lives for our freedom.
You may have already read in my column that I recently wrote to Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police, Kier Pritchard to highlight the issue of anti-social vehicle behaviour and speeding in the town after several residents contacted me.
Following this, I am pleased that Wiltshire Police have confirmed that they are in the process of organising a targeted campaign to tackle anti-social vehicle behaviour and speeding across Swindon. It is hoped that this targeted campaign will take place by the end of the year.
There was further excellent funding news for Swindon last week as the government announced that Create Studios here in the town will receive a £195,222 government funding boost as part of the Culture Recovery Fund. This is in addition to the funding awarded to the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon Dance and the Level III live music venue. The funding is a vital lifeline for local organisations that do so much to enrich the cultural scene in Swindon.
Finally, as approach the half term break here in Swindon, it is great to see members of the local community come together to organise free events for families across the town. A Halloween themed scarecrow trail has been organised in Badbury Park. The event will take place from Sunday 18th October – Sunday 1st November. The Trail is free to enter but the organiser would welcome donations to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.