Lord Berkeley Highlights Scillonian Timetable Problems

Lord Berkeley in the House of Lords

Lord Berkeley in the House of Lords

A member of the House of Lords has highlighted timetabling problems, which he believes makes traveling to Scilly more difficult than it need be.

Lord Tony Berkeley, a frequent visitor to the islands, has published an open letter to both Scilly and Cornwall Councils, First Great Western and the Steamship Company because overnight sleeper train passengers are unable to catch the Scillonian on a Monday morning.

The London train arrives in Penzance at 8.59am and the Scillonian leaves 16 minutes later.

On two Saturdays in May, when the Scillonian has two round trips in the day, the second sailing to St Mary’s leaves at 1.30pm when the first train from London arrives just ten minutes earlier.

Tony says the Monday sleeper situation is “truly bizarre.”

The train waits in Plymouth for an hour because Network Rail uses that time for track maintenance. But it is possible for passengers to wake up and get off the sleeper at Plymouth and catch the 6am Cross Country service to Penzance, which arrives at 7.52am – in time for the ferry.

But there’s no buffet on that local service.

Tony is urging the travel operators to make “two simple timetable changes, to the Scillonian or the train” to gain “a few happier customers.”

Cllr Bert Biscoe of Cornwall Council told Radio Scilly that they were “trying to find out if there’s any leeway in the current arrangements which might meet Lord Berkeley’s concerns.”

The Steamship Company has seen Lord Berkeley’s letter. We offered them a chance to comment but they declined.

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