31 July 2006

RAIL NEWS - FGW cut backs

From This is Plymouth 11:50 - 31 July 2006 [Full story]
Rail travellers in the St Germans area will be hit hard by cuts to local services, a local pressure group claimed today. First Great Western has just published its December 2006 timetable after several months of consultation.It shows that connections between St Germans and the Plymouth area will be cut by a third.The current timetable has 12 trains each way per weekday. The new timetable has eight trains going towards Plymouth and Paddington and 10 going West towards Truro and Penzance.The St Germans Rail Users' Group says those mainly affected are commuters using trains for work, school and college.Three of the busier commuter trains are to be dropped, resulting in:Loss of the early train serving Devonport Dockyard workers.Parents being unable to travel into Plymouth or on half-day or day trips when their children are at school.No replacement of a well-used train for those leaving work in Truro or St Austell after 5 o'clock who want to travel home to Caradon - the alternatives are a wait of over two hours in Truro or switching to road travel.
I think a timely quote from the Saltash Rail Users Group will suffice for my comment on this story
The new franchise was supposed to be let on competitive tender against a baseline specification (which turned out to be quite a detailed timetable) with tendering companies free to make proposals for additional services. In practice the DfT have gone for maximum revenue for the Treasury and refused to purchase any service above the base

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