More trains for Bridgwater?
More details this morning from the Friends of Bridgwater Station (FBS) on the negotiations over the franchise renewal for the Cross Country service, currently run by Virgin. This follows on from the article in the August edition of the Leveller.
Over the last few months the group have been working on a plan to persuade the government to require the new Cross Country franchisee to stop trains at Bridgwater Station for the first time. Success would mean that, northbound, Bristol could be reached in 25 minutes as against 55 minutes now; while local passengers could reach Cheltenham, Birmingham, Stoke and Manchester without changing trains.
Southbound, Bridgwater passengers bound for Exeter, Plymouth and Cornwall would have many more through trains to these destinations without changing at Taunton.
Bridgwater Town Council is also supportive and voted unanimously at their 2018 Annual Town Meeting to make a submission to the consultation based on the detailed FBS proposal. Bridgwater and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger is also on board and has written in support to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling.
Dave Chapple, from FBS explains the overwhelming logic of having more trains stop at Bridgwater “, the exceptional economic growth in and around the town, exemplified by the construction of Hinkley Point C, is central to our Bridgwater argument. But so are the number of local councils, organisations and individuals that bother to take part in the consultation and make it clear that, if they fill in little else from the questionaire, they make sure that they write simply that Bridgwater, and in Somerset Bridgwater alone, must be added to the list of Cross Country Train stops. That is not being biased, just showing common sense.”
The consultation closes on 20th August and forms can be downloaded via <firstname.lastname@example.org>