LONG TERM RESILIENCE OF PENZANCE RAIL LINE TOP PRIORITY

The MP for Penzance, Andrew George, has pressed the Transport Secretary, Rt. Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, in the House of Commons this morning to urgently bring forward plans for a long term solution to the problems faced by rail commuters on the Penzance to Paddington line.

The Transport Secretary has announced that he has commissioned an urgent study into long term solutions from Network Rail. This was a subject which arose from a meeting between the Transport Secretary and Andrew George and attended by other MPs from the region as well as the Managing Director of Network Rail, in the House of Commons last night.

Mr George said: “Responding to the immediate need to provide seamless replacement coach services and the restoration of the damaged stretch at Dawlish is, of course, an immediate priority, as well as protecting the line from further threats from another surge expected on that line in the next 36 hours.

“However, we can’t carry on like this. It is barely 13 months since the last occasion when we had prolonged interruption to the service following flooding and undermining of the line at Cowley Bridge, north of Exeter.

“When billions are being spent on glitzy schemes like HS2 and Crossrail, it is not too much to ask that the Government puts resources into ensuring the long term resilience of the line to Penzance, including the possibility of re-routing the line or providing a back up diversionary route.”