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Foster adds voice to MPs in trains bid

Bath MP, Don Foster MP has joined a cross-party group of ten Members of Parliament calling for a new direct rail service between Oxford and Bristol.

The proposed route would connect Bristol, Bath, Chippenham and Swindon to Oxford and Bedford, and is the key to unlocking the campaign to re-open local stations along the route. In their letter, the MPs call for the service to be included in the next Great Western franchise.

Commenting, Don Foster MP said: “A direct Oxford to Bristol rail service would release some of the pressure on the current services through Bath. The more rail options that are available to people the less traffic there will be on the roads. I am happy to add my name to this cross-party effort, and call on businesses and major employers to voice their support.”

The group of MP’s, which includes Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP for North East Somerset, has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, urging him to introduce the service and requesting a meeting with him to discuss it.

Steve Bradley, Parliamentary Campaigner, added: “Passenger numbers are growing rapidly, and this measure would help cope with that. A move to make it easier for people to visit Bath is a positive one, with so much of our local economy reliant on tourist visitors, particularly during the summer months when being stuffed in an overcrowded train carriage is no one’s idea of a holiday.”

The cross-party group consists of the ten MPs representing constituencies with stations along the proposed route. They are:

  • Duncan Hames, Liberal Democrat MP for Chippenham
  • Don Foster, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath
  • Nicola Blackwood, Conservative MP for Oxford West and Abingdon
  • Robert Buckland, Conservative MP for South Swindon
  • James Gray, Conservative MP for North Wiltshire
  • John Howell, Conservative MP for Henley
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative MP for North East Somerset
  • Justin Tomlinson, Conservative MP for North Swindon
  • Ed Vaizey, Conservative MP for Wantage
  • Stephen Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West

Commenting Caroline Roberts, Cabinet Member for Transport at Bath and North East Somerset Council said: “I very much welcome the call for the re-introduction of services to Oxford. Electrification will offer a faster and frequent service through our area, and re-opening of such stations will allow a greater choice of travel for travellers in our area.”

You can see the full letter here: Oxford-Bristol Rail Letter

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