MP Opposing Reduction In Penzance Through Trains

Penzance Railway Station

Scilly’s MP, Andrew George, has urged the Rail Minister, Theresa Villiers, to scrap her proposal to reduce the number of Penzance to London through trains by a third.

Andrew says that the minister is planning to loosen the requirement for franchise bidders from nine to six trains each day, although there is unlikely to be an official announcement on what would be required of companies pitching for the new 15 year rail tender until later in the week.

The MP has arranged an emergency meeting with Ms Villiers this morning.

Mr George had been reassured that the sleeper service will remain part of the new franchise but he has asked for an additional Saturday sleeper to London. Andrew says with seriously overcrowded trains, above-inflation ticket increases and other service cuts, the Government should be enhancing the Penzance to Paddington service rather than cutting it.

Cornwall Council and the Scilly and Cornwall LEP is also opposing any reduction in train services that allow passengers a through train with no changes.

Staff at the Council-run Tourist Information Centre in Scilly are hoping that railway travel could provide an important role in bringing people to the islands. Staff met with First Great Western officials last month to discuss making joint rail and air or boat packages.

It follows advice from tourism consultants Blue Sail that travel options should be simplified.