IT IS very much a lottery whether you get to speak or not in Parliament; sometimes you are lucky and get to and sometimes you are not.

I was very pleased to have my name drawn for my first adjournment debate, when a backbench MP can raise any matter in the House of Commons and the relevant minister has to respond.

I had been keen to raise the safety (and litter) issues on the A420 and A34, which are a daily bugbear for so many constituents. I, of course, got in yet another plug for Grove Station with the ministers, but they have come to expect this!

The official crash data shows the problem in stark terms. In the last six years there have been 1,057 accidents on the A420, 17 of them fatal; on the A34, there have been 2,593 accidents, 50 of them fatal.

Of course, the roads stretch far beyond the Wantage and Didcot constituency, but on the other hand, the accident data is based only on those accidents which involve injury to people; they do not include the other accidents we all know happen that involve only damage to vehicles involved.

As I said in the debate, it is one thing to avoid a road because you think there will be traffic and you fear you might be delayed; it’s quite another to avoid a road because you think there will be accidents and you fear you might be injured – or worse.

I set out for the minister what needs to happen: the A420 re-established as a local road with the right bus stops, cycle and footpaths, crossings and signage to divert HGVs and reduce speed and noise.

I will be meeting the minister to discuss how this can happen.

The A34 needs the promised safety improvements; I have already met with Highways England and will continue to liaise with them and the Government about this.

I was less lucky in the debate about online harms last week; it timed out on the MP before me.

I was going to raise various issues I saw in my pre-politics life, as both a charity chief executive and a governor of schools, as well as things I’ve heard in this job.

Those include the Epilepsy Society telling me there are people who deliberately send emails with flashing images to those with epilepsy, to try and induce seizures in them, and the Children’s Society telling me about the increase in attempts to groom children through gaming platforms.

Legislation will be coming soon and I hope I will have better luck and be able to raise these points, and others, as we seek to make the online world safe for all.