Weston MP welcomes news trains will keep running
By Carol_Deacon | Thursday, January 31, 2013, 13:17
Weston John Penrose MP has welcomed an announcement that local train services are safe the near future while the new Great Western Mainline franchise is decided.
The franchise process was suspended last year after the West Coast Mainline franchise was shown to be flawed.
The current Great Western franchise which is operated by First Group was due to expire in two months time.
Howver, government ministers have now extended it for at least another six months - and possibly for two years - to make sure local train services are maintained until the bidding process can resume.
Mr Penrose said: "We all want to know that Weston's trains will keep running, so this announcement should give everyone some much-needed certainty.
"Better trains give Weston's commuters an alternative to battling through the misery of Junction 21 each morning, and it's better for the environment too.
"So we still need the promised long-term improvements to the service like longer and more modern trains and carriages which mustn't be delayed because of this.
"And we need to make sure Weston's direct services to London, which also help our rush-hour commuters to Bristol as well, are still to be saved as I've been promised.
"So I hope the new franchise will get underway as soon as possible.
"The travelling public will want to know that the promised improvements will be introduced on time and that other operators will be given a chance to show whether they could do a better job of running the trains than First Group too."