- Luke calls for more High Speed Trains to be used on the Cross Country franchise on a visit to Laira Depot which would help protect jobs at the depot and give region Dawlish-proof trains.
- Labour has committed to the necessary transport funding called for in Luke’s transport manifesto, however the Government is not making the same commitment to our region.
- Our region receives a disproportionately low amount of transport funding, and this has led to delays, rail outages, economic loss, and deteriorating infrastructure.
Laira Depot is the home of the High Speed Train and is currently the home of refits, upgrades and servicing of the fleet of Great Western Railway and Cross Country High Speed Trains.
Luke has been calling for jobs to be protected at Laira Depot in Plymouth and has called for the Government to move more High Speed Trains to enter service on the Cross Country franchise which is under tender by Ministers.
“More HSTs on the Cross Country route would mean we could get more Dawlish-proof trains as the current stock of Voyager trains cannot pass Dawlish in bad weather. HSTs are proven, have extra capacity and if upgraded to include toilet retention tanks and automatic doors would be compliant with modern standards.
“GWR have upgraded some of their HSTs for use between Plymouth and Cornwall as the new Castle Class of trains. I want to see the HSTs that are being replaced on the East Coast franchise transferred into the XC franchise and have made that case to Ministers in private meetings and on the floor of the House of Commons.
“More HSTs is more work for Laira and the skilled engineers and craftspeople employed there.”