Cornwall Faces Potential Cuts to Rail Services
By JanePublisher | Thursday, July 19, 2012, 09:30
Cornwall Council Leader Alec Robertson has hit out at a suggestion that the Government is considering reducing the number of direct rail services from London to Cornwall saying the proposal would threaten Cornwall's plans for economic growth.
Saltash Train Station
Cornwall Council has been lobbying hard for improvements to be made for rail services locally and connecting Cornwall to the rest of the UK, and was hopeful that the Government would support its plans.
However the Great Western Rail Franchise will result in the number of through services from London to Cornwall reduced from the current 9 services per day to 6. Mr. Robertson said: "This would be a serious set-back for Cornwall's economy. At a time when other parts of the country are seeing a £9.4 billion package of improvements to their rail services, we would actually see a cut to services in Cornwall".
"Over the past 10 years we have invested more than any other local authority in improving our rail network – resulting in much larger increase in passenger numbers in Cornwall than in other parts of the country. One of our major successes has been the Truro to Falmouth scheme with a 100% increase in passenger numbers".
Chris Pomfret, the Chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is economically the poorest area in England. Given the geographical position of Cornwall, a western peninsula, it is self evident that we depend a great deal on good transport links."
Over the last ten years Cornwall has grown faster than anywhere else in the UK outside central London and rail usage has grown by over twice the national rate so it is very difficult to see any justification for reducing the base service specification.