Rail minister to visit Cornwall

Andrew George MP will highlight the need for long term investment in rail services when he meets with Rail Minister, Rt. Hon Theresa Villiers MP, during her visit to West Cornwall next week.

The Minister will travel to Mr George’s constituency on the Sleeper Service from London and will then travel from Penzance to St Erth. She will also travel along the branch line from St Erth to St Ives on Wednesday 6th June 2012.

Mr George, who recently contributed to the Great Western Franchise replacement consultation, said: “It’s not just that we want to see further investment and improvements to the Sleeper Service we fought so hard to save 6 years ago, but we want the Government to set benchmarks for improvement and resilience in the service.

“On behalf of rail users in the West I have called on the Government to both safeguard and improve the range of through Intercity services to Penzance, including an hourly service to and from London.

“I welcome the Minister to my constituency. Having discussed these matters with her before, I know that she ‘gets’ the need for a long franchise which would encourage long term investment and improvement in the service. She will experience the Sleeper Service, which is the best way of understanding what we’re talking about when we explain how essential it is to our economy and communities. It’s good that she’s taking the time to experience the outstanding St. Ives Branch line and will see the plans for the St Erth interchange.

“Above all I hope she will take away the message that rail passengers in West Cornwall place a high priority on comfort, reliability and competitive pricing of through trains from our major cities -especially London – to Penzance. Diverting limited resources to meet the crippling cost of shaving 15/20 minutes off the journey time is clearly a lower priority for us.”

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