8 May 2012
In April 2013 a new Great Western Railways Franchise will commence. The Department for Transport (DfT) will shortly draft its specification for the Franchise Bidders. South West Green Party (SWGP) has made a submission to the Great Western Franchise Consultation with dynamic proposals: fares reduced by at least 50%, stations re-opened in many areas, and the re-development of old routes for a comprehensive regional rail services.
Daniel Casey, author of the report says
This is one of the most significant opportunities of the next 15 years to improve the railways of the South West. The public must make it clear to all the stakeholders that we want a comprehensive, sustainable network focused on inclusion, and not on commercial interest.
Greens are calling on the public to make sure their views are heard now to insure getting the local developments they want in the future. You can write to Martin Holt, who is overseeing the Great Western Region Franchise Specification, at email@example.com, and copy in your local authority transport department. It would also help to cc your MP (you can find who this is at www.theyworkforyou.com), the Minister of State for Transport Theresa Villiers (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker MP (email@example.com) or write to them at House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.
Due to the new house-building programme, the Portishead population is expected to rise to 30,000, making it the second largest town in North Somerset. It will have the same population as Windsor and Eton combined, yet it has no railway station. It lies at the end of a very congested transport corridor, ill-served by public transport, but there is a disused railway line, with the unique heritage of passing under Brunel's famous Clifton Suspension Bridge. The Greens support the local campaign for the track to be re-laid with stations at Portishead, Portbury Dock, Pill and Ashton Gate.
Across the region reopening lines Exeter-Plymouth via Okehampton & Tavistock, and St Austell-Newquay via St Dennis would serve many smaller communities as well as provide alternative routes for regional and InterCity services.
Bristol is the most polluted conurbation in the UK after London. It also suffers from severe congestion and desperately needs a comprehensive and integrated public transport network. Greens support the ‘Greater Bristol Metro' train service with a minimum 30 minute frequency service to all existing and reinstated stations in Greater Bristol, and go further by detailing infrastructure improvements for an integrated regional network. They are also campaigning for an integrated ticketing as per the London Oyster system. This would streamline and stabilise fare options, and reduce the pressure on large station booking halls.
Greens are asking you to push for the improvements your local area needs. Their joined-up proposals would improve air quality - protecting children and adults alike; improve employment opportunities for those living in outlying areas; help meet our CO2 reduction targets and open-up the railways to the poorest in society.
Press Officer, Green Party South West
Daniel Casey, who authored the South West Regional Green Party Submission to the Great Western Franchise Consultation, is available for interview - 07752 743465, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Green Party transport policies - www.greenparty.org.uk
Department for Transport - http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2011-36/