Home South London MPs urged to help save South Western Railway direct service to London

MPs urged to help save South Western Railway direct service to London


A rail expert says they plan to apply more pressure on Wiltshire MPs to help reverse a cut to direct South Western Railway train services to London Waterloo.

So far, more than 3,100 people have signed Graham Ellis’ petition to save the direct rail service from Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge to south London.

The service provides the only through train trains from London to Trowbridge, Bradford on Avon, Oldfield Park and Keynsham, and from Bristol and Bath to London Waterloo.

Graham Ellis, of the West Wiltshire Rail User Group, Melksham RUG, and TravelWatch South West, says they will contact local MPs again to help save the service.

After a meeting on Wednesday in Trowbridge attended by over 100 people online and in person, he will ask local MPs Dr Andrew Murrison and Michelle Donelan to lobby South Western Railway and the Department for Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to reverse the cut.

Mr Ellis said: “The meeting was very successful, we had about 150 people online and at the Bethesda Methodist Church

“The Department for Transport and South Western Railway have been planning this for a while. They were discussions about it back in March and April.

“People really love those trains and now they want to remove the service. Passengers going to London Waterloo will now have to wait nearly an hour at Salisbury and will be inconvenienced.”

South Western Railway says removing the direct service will avoid “duplication” with Great Western Railway services to London Paddington.

The DfT says cutting the service will realise cost savings and make routes to London more efficient.

But Mr Ellis says the new timetable will mean commuters having to switch trains in Salisbury where they will face a 58-minute wait.

He added: “Even Transport Focus, the Department for Transport’s own passenger watchdog, has suggested that the service should be retained until properly consulted and appropriate alternatives provided.”

To sign the petition, go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397/signatures/new