Investment is in the South West Peninsula rail network is vital to ensure the disruption to rail services seen in early 2014 does not happen again. With lines across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset compromised, big losses were sustained by business across the board including the Peninsula’s vital tourism industry.
With consistently increasing passenger numbers, the rail service is an essential network that needs to be strengthened through investment that will both protect connectivity and boost the Peninsula economy.
The Peninsula Rail Task Force campaign is calling on the Prime Minister to sign a 3-Point Plan for a great South West Peninsula railway and commit the Government to big, decisive investments that will deliver:
- A resilient and reliable railway, protecting the coastal mainline, improving flood resilience, introducing trains capable of operating all year round, building an additional inland route West of Exeter and introducing increased capacity on diversionary route between Exeter and Castle Cary via Yeovil.
- Faster journey times and better connectivity through infrastructure and signalling improvements, introduction of modern trains, increase in frequency of trains to 2 direct trains an hour between Plymouth and London and the commencement of selective electrification. Redoubling of some stretches on the Exeter to Waterloo route.
- Sufficient capacity and comfort, providing sufficient capacity on trains through additional services and trains to meet predicted growth, allowing business to be productive through quality wi-fi and mobile signals along all of the railway main lines. Introduction of on train media centres and increased luggage capacity to deliver a high quality passenger experience.
The Peninsula Rail Task Force is a rail improvement campaign group comprising Cornwall Council, Cornwall and Scillies LEP, Devon County Council, Heart of the South West LEP, Plymouth City Council, Somerset County Council and Torbay Council.