Devizes MP elated after meeting rail minister over services to Pewsey and Westbury

This Is Wiltshire: MP Claire Perry MP Claire Perry

Claire Perry, MP for the Devizes Constituency, teamed up with neighbouring MPs, Andrew Murrison and Richard Benyon, to meet the Minister for Rail Simon Burns.

They expressed concerns over the potential loss of services for stations west of Newbury, queried why electrification was stopping at Newbury and emphasised the importance of good through train links to the local economy.

Mrs Perry also presented the Minister with an extensive dossier of evidence supporting the current services from concerned residents using services from Pewsey and Great Bedwyn stations.

During the meeting the Minister said that while the current franchise process is on hold until at least the end of the year, he would immediately instruct the Department of Transport to formally investigate the option of extending rail electrification from Newbury to Westbury.

Commenting after the meeting, Mrs Perry said: “We had great news today, when the Rail Minister said he would initiate an investigation of the costs and benefits of electrification of rail lines to Westbury.

“This renewed focus on our vital rail links should help to emphasise the importance of the local services when the franchise bidding process is re-started and if we can get electrification then connectivity and journey times will be improved.

“I will be working with Wiltshire Council, the Wiltshire and Swindon Local Economic Partnership and all local users to make the case for this investment. We need our vital rail links and this is a great step forward.”

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