Weston Mercury: ‘We need a better train service’ – MP

MORE rush-hour train services and a greater choice of travel companies has been asked for by MP John Penrose.

Weston’s MP has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, asking for a ‘better’ rail service for the town and its neighbouring stations.

The Government is set to start a bidding process to award a company the chance to run the South West rail franchise up until September 2020.

In his letter, Mr Penrose says the current service offered by First Great Western has not always been good enough.

He believes some added competition will improve standards and stop passengers feel they are being taken for granted.

The letter says: “We need to make sure existing high speed train (HST) services to Weston are expanded during morning and evening peak hours.

“This means ensuring more of the existing HST services stop at stations like Worle Parkway because some don’t at present, and that a few of the non-HST peak services are replaced by HSTs.

“This will then reduce overcrowding on essential commuter services and ensure that Weston’s connections to Heathrow and London – essential for business and leisure travel alike – remain strong.”

Mr Penrose, who has been Weston’s MP since 2005, said plans need to make sure the line’s long-term future is strong.

Many lines in the South West are to be electrified and Mr Penrose said preparations for that scenario should begin sooner rather than later.

He said: “When the line from Weston to Bristol is finally electrified, the new franchise should have extra services ready to go, so it’s set up to immediately deliver the faster, better services which electrification would offer.”

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