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19.04.12

Plymouth civic leaders lobby franchise bidders over services

Representatives from Stagecoach, First Group and Arriva Trains met with Plymouth campaigners hoping to secure better services for the city.

The three companies make up, with National Express, the shortlist of bidders for the Greater Western franchise, which starts in April 2013.

The meeting yesterday heard that services were overcrowded on ageing rolling stock, while Philip Heseltine, head of transport strategy at Plymouth City Council, said the region’s high-speed trains were designed for Thames Valley commuter services and not for long-distance business travel or for families on holiday, according to the Plymouth Herald newspaper.

The campaigners, MPs and businesspeople also said passengers needed on-board WiFi.

The Herald reports that a central campaign slogan is ‘2-3-5’ – more two-hour journeys to Exeter, three hours to Plymouth and five hours to Penzance.

A confidentiality agreement required by the Government prevented the operators from saying exactly what they would offer, however.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image: Graham Richardson

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