17 June 2006

Another good news story about First!

Wow - this is the second positive item I have posted today on First. Must be some kind of record. I am not anti-First in anyway - I really want them to do a good job - its just that all to often they shoot themselves in the foot!
Anyway this story from this is Plymouth (full story click here)

Rail operator First has thought again about proposed cuts to services in Ivybridge and South East Cornwall in response to passionate local protests. First Great Western and the Department for Transport have said the December timetable will include four additional services in each direction at Ivybridge - still a reduction on the current service, but not as severe as was originally proposed. There will also be an additional early- morning service from Calstock into Plymouth.
Secretary of the Ivybridge Rail Users' Group Phil Dredge, who had been protesting since FGW originally published a timetable which would have cut services across the region, said: "It's people power, isn't it? We've been fighting cuts for 15 months now and it's been a hard-fought campaign."The timetable will give us 18 trains instead of the 24 we have now, but I see that as very positive compared to how it could have been.
Valley Rail Partnership Ian Kirk said: "I think this is brilliant news, I really do. If it gives people an opportunity to use the train for work that makes a tremendous difference."The Rail Partnership has been fighting for an early morning train ever since it was cut years ago so this is a real triumph.

Most people were expecting First to just stick to their guns and provide the levels of service they said they would. so its good to see that they have listened and responded to some of the requests. Of course it is still a reduction for Ivybridge but at least its not as bad as it could have been. I am also pleased with Phil Dredge's comment
"Our next campaign will be to encourage people to use the railway and keep an eye on future cuts." All to often campaigners against cuts in services forget this vital bit. Surely the best way to stop your service getting reduced is to get more people to use it more often.

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