Luke Pollard MP has today called on Great Western Railway to provide greater clarity regarding recent rail disruption, including a clear timetable for full restoration of services. The network has experienced significant disruption to its long-distance trains over the weekend due to fissures found in the underside of some trains.
Only around 10% of Great Western Railway’s long-distance services ran on Sunday, with a similar service expected today. Great Western Railway said that customers with tickets for long-distance services should still avoid travelling and that refunds would be issued.
Having experienced disruption to his own travel plans over the weekend, Luke Pollard MP posted on Facebook:
“In a region like ours, we need a fast, resilient train system to support our economy. That means having fast, resilient trains.
“It’s absolutely right that trains were withdrawn by Great Western Rail due to small cracks found in the underside of some carriages. The safety of passengers must always come first. But there needs to be a better plan in place when these things happen – clear communication with the travelling public, clear alternative routes made accessible, and honesty about the timeframe for resolving the issue.
“In Plymouth we have seen disruption to our trains before, and we all understand the cost involved. There is the economic cost as people are unable to get to work and business hours are lost, but also kids unable to get to school, and families unable to see one another.”
Mr Pollard joined a call over the weekend with GWR and rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris MP to get an update.