Council To Opposes Plans To Reduce Through Trains

Penzance Railway Station

Councillors have voted to write in support of MP Andrew George’s campaign to oppose Government plans to reduce the number of Paddington to Penzance through trains.

Our Council will join Cornwall Council who are opposing the new rail franchise which would see the services cut from 9 to 6 trains each day.

Diana Mompoloki said that their officers had already met with Minister Theresa Villiers to argue their case.

Dudley Mumford told Tuesday’s transport meeting that the service should be enhanced particularly on a Sunday. He reminded Councillors that they had recently discussed Sunday flying and a decent rail service is needed.

Marian Bennett backed Dudley and she, like the MP, feels that there should be a Saturday sleeper service. Concerns were also voiced over the later arrival of the Sunday sleeper service which doesn’t get into Penzance at “a convenient time for the travelling public” on a Monday morning. It arrives at around 9am whereas on other days the sleeper is in before 8am.

Amanda Martin felt that the Council needed to urge the transport providers to work together, while Richard McCarthy had an issue with what he called “the weird four hour gap” between 10am and 2pm when there are no services to London, which means passengers have to wait around if there is a slight delay to the helicopter’s arrival.

Marian felt that the letter could be improved and strengthened with statistics on visitors who travel to Scilly by train, but Economic Development Officer Julian Pearce told members that they don’t have that data and using information on people who have bought the joint train and boat or air through tickets wouldn’t strengthen the Council’s case, adding “we would be let down.”

There was some discussion about how best to term the region to show how the railway line served a remote area. Members discussed using phrases like services to the ‘Far West’.

Marian suggested it was best not to mention the term Duchy, claiming that the Department for Transport aren’t known for their affiliation to royal estates.

Richard felt the islands’ Council should get a letter off as soon as possible.