David Warburton MP Appeals to Transport Secretary for Radical Improvements to Frome’s Rail Links
26th February 2018 - - Following his appeal last November to South Western Railway to make significant timetable improvements for Bruton and Frome, David Warburton MP for Somerton and Frome has written formally to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, in response to the government’s Great Western Franchise Consultation.
In his letter, David asserts that the service delivered to the Heart of Wessex line has worsened, particularly in respect of performance and reliability, and calls for radical improvements to the current service frequencies. David goes on to support the proposal of a closer alignment of operations between West of England line with the Heart of Wessex line, highlighting the benefits to major local employers and rail users in general.
David outlines the need for better connections towards Salisbury and Southampton Airport from Frome and Castle Cary. Furthermore, in the light of the imminent major disruption to the A303 to improve capacity around Stonehenge, David urges the Minister to commit the new franchise to undertake feasibility studies for new train stations at Somerton, Langport, Sparkford and Charlton Mackerell, as a means to alleviate road congestion which works to the A303 will inevitably trigger.
Finally, David emphasises the necessity for fundamental renovation of local mainline stations. Castle Cary station, David points out, is not consistently staffed nor are the facilities such as waiting rooms, toilets and provision of refreshments, adequate for a mainline station serving as a key rail link between Somerset and London. Along with other local rail hubs, Castle Cary station is, David asserts, “in desperate need considerable upgrading and investment.”
David said, “There’s an urgent need for radical improvements and major investment into our rail links here in Somerset. Local businesses, commuters and general rail-users deserve a better rail infrastructure and I will continue to lobby the Department for Transport to focus on and invest in the south west.”
David continued, “I have long been campaigning for train stations to be re-established at Somerton and Langport, and I will continue to push the case for this and a raft of additional improvements to our rail services. It’s vital for the economic prosperity of Somerset, the quality of life for our residents and the continued success of our businesses that we, here in the South West, get the absolute best possible rail connectivity.”
Image attached: David Warburton MP for Somerton & Frome “green flags” better rail connectivity for the South West.