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Appeal for radical improvement to Frome’s rail links

LOCAL MP for Somerton and Frome, David Warburton, has written formally to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, in response to the government’s Great Western Franchise consultation.

This follows his appeal last November to South Western Railway to make significant timetable improvements for Bruton and Frome.

In his letter, David Warburton asserts that the service delivered to the Heart of Wessex line has worsened, particularly in respect of performance and reliability, and calls for radical improvements to the current service frequencies.  He goes on to support the proposal of a closer alignment of operations between West of England line with the Heart of Wessex line, highlighting the benefits to major local employers and rail users in general.

The MP outlines the need for better connections towards Salisbury and Southampton Airport from Frome and Castle Cary.  Furthermore, in the light of the imminent major disruption to the A303 to improve capacity around Stonehenge, he urges the Minister to commit the new franchise to undertake feasibility studies for new train stations at Somerton, Langport, Sparkford and Charlton Mackerell, as a means to alleviate road congestion, which works to the A303 will inevitably trigger.

Finally, David Warburton emphasises the necessity for fundamental renovation of local mainline stations, especially Castle Cary station.

The MP said, “There’s an urgent need for radical improvements and major investment into our rail links here in Somerset. Local businesses, commuters and general rail-users deserve a better rail infrastructure and I will continue to lobby the Department for Transport to focus on and invest in the south west.

“It’s vital for the economic prosperity of Somerset, the quality of life for our residents and the continued success of our businesses that we, here in the South West, get the absolute best possible rail connectivity.”

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