Torbay MP Adrian Sanders: Where is rail investment for South West?
The Government has been warned of high fares and slow journeys blighting Westcountry rail travel as ministers pressed ahead with plans for high-speed trains between London and the north.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced the already-planned London to Birmingham HS2 line would extend as far as Manchester and Leeds, a project likely to cost £32.7 billion. Meanwhile, 1970s trains will run between the capital and Penzance on the Great Western line, with new electric trains not going as far west as Bristol.
In the Commons, Torbay MP Adrian Sanders pressed Mr McLoughlin on how the region has to make do with the slowest journeys and highest fares while billions are pumped elsewhere.
Westcountry rail passengers will be able to change to get on the HS2 line north at a new station built at Old Oak Common, West London, from the Great Western line.
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Mr Sanders, a Liberal Democrat, asked the minister: "What guarantees can he give to the people of Devon and Cornwall that they will benefit directly from this investment?"
Mr McLoughlin: "I recognise very much so the position his constituents face. I've organised a special briefing for MPs with Network Rail about that section of the rail network."