Latest Rail News

17.07.12

London-Cornwall services ‘could be cut by a third’

Cornwall could lose a third of its direct trains to London under the new Great Western franchise, with the DfT proposing six Paddington to Penzance services a day instead of nine.

When questioned in the Commons, transport secretary Justine Greening did not rule out the cuts. She stated: “No final decisions have been made.”

Conservative leader of Cornwall Council, Alec Robertson, said: “This would be a serious setback for Cornwall's economy. Reducing the number of inter-city services will mean a third-class rail system in Cornwall and we need to fight to ensure that this does not happen.”

The cuts could also mean a loss of services inDevonif the links are axed entirely. Services between Penzance andExetercurrently have a gap of up to 1.5 hours between trains.

Councillors also criticised the lack of provision for Cornwallin the Government’s HLOS plans, announced yesterday. Over £9bn is being invested in the rail network across theUK, but the only projects to benefit the region are a new £500m link betweenSloughand Heathrow, and a small section of the GWML electrification.

Four bidders are shortlisted for the new GWML franchise, which will run for 15 years from next April.

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

Image c. Andy F 

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