8 January 2007
The campaign group Transport 2000 today blamed the Government for the temporary closure of two community rail lines in the South West of England.
Julia Thomas, the group’s public transport campaigner, explains: "The Department for Transport removed a staggering 29 carriages from First Great Western’s franchise in December – down to 104 carriages from 133. Those trains are now just sitting in storage. The remaining trains are breaking down more and passengers are being forced to take replacement buses – causing them hassle and making their journeys longer."
"It’s an absurd situation – and an unnecessary one. The department should bring the carriages back, allowing First Great Western to run a decent service,"
says Julia Thomas.
First Great Western has stated that the lines should reopen Friday, a total of one week without service. The lines affected are in Cornwall: Liskeard to Looe and St.Ives to St Erth, where temporary bus services are running instead.
Transport 2000 is working hard to convince the Government it must do more to support our rail network. The group’s Growing the Railways campaign calls on Government to plan for a growing railway in its 30-year rail plan, due this year. The campaign’s South West launch will be held at the Government Office for the South West, Temple Quay, in Bristol on 19 January 2007 at 10:00 AM.
Notes to editors
Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.