Government’s Competition Tsar welcomes opening up of Great Western Main Line to new services for passengers

Weston-super-Mare MP and Government Competition guru John Penrose has welcomed the decision by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to approve five new services a day westwards from London to Bristol Parkway and on to Carmarthen. The services will be provided by a different firm, giving passengers to and from the West Country and Wales more choice, lower fares and variety. But Mr Penrose also said ORR and Ministers shouldn’t stop there, saying:

“Residents across Weston-Super-Mare, the West Country and Wales can cheer in delight at this decision to open up our services to more choice and lower fares. But we mustn’t stop there: Regulators and Ministers should be approving loads more choices like this one on other routes across the country too. It would give passengers more reliable and cheaper services from a variety of firms, so if one has problems with strikes or breakdowns the others will still be working.  

“My recently published report Unfinished Revolution calls on the Government to roll out more competition on lines across the country so that, if companies charge too much or offer poor services, people can simply take their money elsewhere and choose an alternative. This announcement is great, but it should only be the start of something much bigger and more ambitious.”