Rail plans will ‘cut off’ Weston - council
PUBLISHED: 20:00 16 August 2012
WESTON could be ‘cut off’ and businesses disadvantaged when new rail plans are put in place, according to North Somerset Council.
The Great Western Railway franchise went out for tender on July 27, with firms invited to make bids for a 15-year contract to provide new express trains, increased capacity, smart card ticketing and new passenger satisfaction targets.
But the council has told the Government how the planned electrification of the Bristol to London route will cut off Weston station, forcing passengers to change at Bristol Temple Meads to use the quicker electric service to the capital.
A survey by Passenger Focus Great Western Franchise revealed 40 per cent of rail passengers were unlikely to make the journey if they had to change trains.
The council cited this as evidence the plans to make Weston rail users change at Bristol would hurt the number of users of the London to Weston service.
Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, executive member for highways and transport in North Somerset, said: “As a major tourist resort and with a resident population of close to 100,000, through links to London are vital.
“Expecting passengers to change trains at Bristol Temple Meads will reduce links between the town and major cities and discourage rail travel.
“These plans will also have a major impact on local commuters travelling out of Weston to Bath and other stations beyond Bristol Temple Meads and could discourage new businesses from setting up in the town.”
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