John Penrose MP...

PUBLISHED: 08:52 19 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:28 24 May 2010

John Penrose

John Penrose

ONE of the most important things for an MP who lives in the middle of their constituency is that you have to eat your own cooking. If something goes wrong it affects you personally, just like everybody else

ONE of the most important things for an MP who lives in the middle of their constituency is that you have to eat your own cooking. If something goes wrong it affects you personally, just like everybody else. So when one of Monday morning's trains to Bristol was cancelled, and the next one turned up with only two carriages instead of four, I was one of the hundreds of people caught in the misery. The train was already packed when it pulled in, but we squeezed on like sardines anyway. I counted more people standing in the aisles than sitting on the seats, and at every stop we left more people stranded on the platform because they couldn't get on. Tempting motorists onto the trains would be good for the environment, and should cut the rush hour queues on the M5 too, but it will never work if the service is this bad. There's light on the horizon, but not until December. That's when the bigger intercity trains will replace some of the two and four carriage rush hour services, so there should be more space for everyone. Well, not everyone. Even then, the bigger trains won't stop at Worle because the platform's too short. I've been lobbying for Worle station to be expanded, and First Great Western is discussing it with the council, but progress is horribly slow.When my train reached Bristol everyone spilled onto the platform, grateful to be out of the crush. I went and found the train manager, who explained they'd stopped a Virgin intercity train behind us to pick up the people left on the platforms. But if they can do that in an emergency, why not every week? Why should we have to wait until December for things to get better? I shall write to the train company to find out.

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