MP horrified as Bedwyn and Pewsey ruled out of electrification
MP Claire Perry says she is horrified that the latest rail consultation rules out electrification of the train line to Bedwyn and Pewsey.
She met commuters at Pewsey station this morning to discuss her response to the Department for Transport's consultation on the future of the Great Western franchise.
The Devizes constituency MP has written to Stephen Hammond, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, saying she is horrified by the options offered in the Government consultation, which closed yesterday.
The section of consultation effecting Bedwyn and Pewsey passengers is based on having diesel-only services west of Newbury.
This is despite the Great Western Electrification Study report, published last June by consultants Arup, recommending extending electrification to Bedwyn.
The consultation asked whether a diesel service from Bedwyn, Hungerford and Kintbury to Newbury connecting into a fast service to London, or a diesel service from Reading to London Paddington, would be best post electrification to Newbury.
These two options would mean there would no longer be any through services from Bedwyn to Paddington.
There was also an option for other suggestions.
The consultation will effect proposals for the next five-year franchise period which starts in September 2015.
Mrs Perry said: "A lot of people are worried that we are going to lose the station and that is not going to happen but it is important for people to know and understand what is going on.
"I have spoken to people who have said that they live here because of the rail links and say they would not be able to get to work with out it.
"There are businesses as well that are here because of the rail links so it is vital that fast and frequent rail links are maintained.
"I don't want it to be seen as a secondary station so people who are travelling to London have to change at Newbury."
Mrs Perry handed out copies of her letter to Mr Hammond during the morning commute and plans to speak to more train users at the station in the future as well as visiting Bedwyn station.
Christopher Lacy-Hulbert, of Ramsbury, who uses the 7.19am service to London Paddington during the week, said: "I'm very pleased with the service. People complain about trains but really it's usually quite reliable, although tickets are extortionate.
"We are lucky to have someone like Claire who is willing to fight for the service.
" I don't think there is a danger of losing the station but there is talk of reduced services. If the 6.35am train was to go it wouldn't effect me but this is the most popular service and it's important that we keep it."
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