George hails rail campaign success – multi-million improvements mainline, sleeper and Penzance

Posted on: 2nd July 2014

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, is hailing a Government announcement due to be made tomorrow as a campaign success for the Independent and Liberal Democrat led Cornwall Council, and the work of a key council official – Nigel Blackler (whose brainchild it was) – for his constituents who massively backed his petition and campaign for this £multi million investment.

The major project, which will be announced by the PM David Cameron  is to improve rail services from Penzance, including:- a major sleeper service upgrade, major improvements in the mainline signalling to increase service efficiency, the relocation of a major Train Care and maintenance Centre to the Long Rock depot, bringing at least 60 much needed jobs to the area and a Transport Interchange at St Erth.

Mr George applauded the thousands of local people who supported his successful campaign for major investment in train services from Penzance. Andrew led the Parliamentary campaign for the £multi million campaign.

Mr George who asked the PM about the matter today in PMQs, said, “This is fantastic news. It’s been a long time coming. But this is just a beginning, not the end to the investment we deserve.

“This campaign has been going for years. There’s a great deal more needed to improve our rolling stock and rail infrastructure so that we don’t get left behind. I will continue to campaign for the necessary investment and improvements to our rail services until we get a firm commitment from Government to provide a rail service in keeping with 21st century requirements.

“But, I am glad that the Conservatives have finally recognised the merit of this case and the urgent need for improvements in our rail service. But, I am proud of the way in which my constituents have rallied behind the campaign for a resilient rail service. I have been humbled by the thousands of local people who have supported my petition to build up pressure on the Government to make sure that the Penzance line secures the investment it deserves for a resilient rail service.

“MPs across all parties, in Cornwall and the South West, have already voted not to deny communities on the London North corridor the £billions of investment necessary for HS2 to get underway. But it is only reasonable to continue to ask that the Government gives us a just share of investment to provide the resilient and reliable rail service from Penzance to Paddington. The petitioners and the thousands of locals who support them expect nothing less.

“Curiously the PM has been coy about letting me know about his visit. But he’s very welcome nevertheless. This has been a great campaign and a deserved success. It’s marvellous to gather support, even from the ‘Johnny come latelies’ in the Tory Party. The train hasn’t left the station yet and there’s room for many more to clamber aboard, even at this stage…”