I attended a meeting today with the management of Great Western at the Commons. In a general presentation they said they wished to consult widely and to listen to passengers and taxpayer representatives. They favour “partnership” working with us.
I said they ( and more especially Network Rail) had often in the past ignored good advice and passenger complaints. My constituents want more seating capacity out of Reading in the morning, and more out of Paddington back home in the evening. We want more reliable trains. We want better road crossings over or under the railway to reduce the danger to trains and delays to cars.We want more and cheaper car parkign at stations and better road access to stations.
Taxpayers want to pay less in subsidy. That means selling more seats on the many little used trains. It means running shorter trains to cut the costs in off peak services. It means better signals and braking system and lighter trains so more trains can run per hour at busy times, and to cut the huge energy bills of the present railway.
They know they have a captive customer base for commuting, and successive governments which will subsidise the railway if it carries on losing money. Let’s hope this time they mean it when they say they are listening and wish to improve the service.