Crossrail electric train -could this come as far as Bedwyn?
Thanks to everyone who wrote to Claire Perry MP and the Transport Minister, Simon Burns recently, expressing their concerns about the threatened cuts to our train services at Bedwyn and Pewsey.
At a meeting yesterday evening, Claire told us that she had recieved '2 huge binders full of letters and emails' from her constituents, which she presented to the Minister at a meeting that was held with fellow Tory MPs Richard Benyon and Andrew Murrison, at the Department for Transport on Tuesday. As a result, the Minister has agreed to initiate a study into the benefits of electrification of the line west of Newbury in 4 stages:
- From Newbury to Bedwyn
- Extending from Bedwyn to Westbury – passenger use
- Extending from Bedwyn to Westbury with connections for freight use
- The diversionary routes through Trowbridge to Bath
He has instructed Network Rail to produce high level cost estimates for this electrification work.
Click here for more details of the DfT meeting.
This is great news - TM's Transport Group is now looking into the environmental benefits of electrifying the line as far as Bedwyn and Westbury, while the Bedwyn Trains Passenger Group is working with Pewsey Train Watch to come up with a cost-benefit analysis of this work. We are also pressing for a Plan B to preserve the train service at current levels, in case line electrifiction proves to be too costly.
Claire suggested the possibility of holding a 'Franchise Bidders Hustings' in Great Bedwyn or Pewsey, in due course, so that train-users can question their proposed service. We are also planning to lobby the Minister directly at Westminster, once we have prepared all the relevant information.
Please get involved by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org