For the last few months Alison Seabeck and I have been arguing for new trains for Plymouth. Today Labour is announcing that we will deliver new trains for the Great Western line. This is a massive boost for Plymouth.
Labour has today announced that the south west will get new trains on the Great Western line between Penzance and London Paddington if Labour wins the General Election. On a visit to Plymouth Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Michael Dugher, said he would take a decision on new trains on day one of Labour being in power.
The new franchise for the Great Western Line provides for new rolling stock or refitted HST trains for the Great Western route but the current Government has failed to take a decision on whether the south west will get new trains or keep the current 40 year old rolling stock.
This is huge news for us in Plymouth. Our current trains are 40 years old and needing replacing and if Labour wins on 7 May on the very next day we will give the go ahead for First Great Western to buy new trains for the London to Penzance line. This is huge news for us in the south west and further proof that Labour will help boost our economy.
Michael Dugher, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said:
"Plymouth and the south west desperately needs more investment in transport and the Tories are dragging their feet.
“Over a year on from the storms and the closure of the line at Dawlish, there's still no action from the Conservatives. The south west deserves better.
“Thanks to campaigning by Luke Pollard, Alison Seabeck and Plymouth City Council, I am announcing that a day one priority for a Labour run Department for Transport will be to ensure that First Great Western get on and make good on their promise of delivering the trains that Plymouth and the south west need.”
Luke Pollard, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said:
"Plymouth needs a fast and resilient train line and new faster trains are vital for our economic growth. Plymouth and the wider south west have been making the case for new trains for years and if Labour wins on 7 May we will deliver the new trains people in the south west deserve. This is a huge boost for Plymouth and the wider south west and proves that a Labour Government has a better plan for transport in the south west. These new trains will need a base and Alison and I will be arguing strongly that this should be at Laira depot in Plymouth where we have the skilled workforce already.”
Alison Seabeck, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Plymouth Moor View added:
"In the House of Commons I've argued for more investment in rail in the south west. Better trains for Plymouth will mean faster journey times, improved passenger experience and help address the underinvestment in our region. I'm pleased to have worked with the City Council, local businesses and our candidates and we now have a deal that will mean we get the trains we need on the Great Western line possibly as early as 2017."