Devizes MP encouraged over Bedwyn rail electrification bid after high-level meeting

This Is Wiltshire: Richard Benyon, the MP for Newbury, Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, and Devizes MP Claire Perry Richard Benyon, the MP for Newbury, Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, and Devizes MP Claire Perry

Devizes MP Claire Perry said she is encouraged about the campaign to extend electrification to Bedwyn after meeting the Secretary of State for Transport.

Mrs Perry and Richard Benyon, the MP for Newbury, Secretary of State Patrick McLoughlin, to discuss the importance of maintaining high speed rail links in Hampshire and Wiltshire and the case for electrifying the Great Western Main Line beyond Newbury to Hungerford and Bedwyn. 

She said: “The Government is investing heavily in our rail network which is great to see and the Secretary of State clearly understands the economic case for extending electrification to Bedwyn and that it makes complete sense to do the work sooner rather than later.

"He is also thankfully fully aware of the need for and importance of high speed frequent services from Pewsey and Bedwyn, especially to and from London.

"I was encouraged by the meeting and will keep fighting to protect our vital train services.”

Last year a report concluded that there would be major benefits for extending rail electrification from Newbury to Bedwyn.

But the study by consultants Arup said that the business case for extension beyond Bedwyn to Westbury, including Pewsey, does not make economic sense given the cost of electrifying 85 miles more rail track.

Mrs Perry (Devizes) and MPs Richard Benyon (Newbury) and Andrew Murrison (South West Wiltshire) have said that train services west of Bedwyn - including Pewsey and Westbury - should be at least as good as they are now if electrification from Newbury to Bedwyn goes ahead.

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