In November 2016, Conservative Candidate Kevin Foster, in conjunction with the Herald Express, launched a campaign to save the vital train services connecting Manchester and Birmingham to the Bay.
As things stand, from December 2017 Torquay and Paignton could lose two trains each weekday to Birmingham and Manchester. Constituents in Torquay and Paignton (and much needed tourists!) would therefore be left with just one weekday train to Birmingham and Manchester, leaving at 0702, and no direct train to Torquay and Paignton from Manchester and Birmingham.
Equally worrying – Cross Country makes NO reference in the document to the future of direct services between Torquay/Paignton and Manchester/Birmingham at the weekends.
Kevin has already held crisis meetings with CrossCountry Trains Managing Director and Head of Communications, and is planning to present a petition in the House of Commons Chamber before Christmas, urging both the House and CrossCountry Trains to reconsider their proposals.
We would therefore ask that you print a copy of the attached coupon and return it to the Herald, or to sign the petition electronically by visiting this link. Kevin's staff will also be out and about around the Bay collecting signatures over the next few weeks, and we will of course keep you updated with any developments via the usual channels.
“I am disappointed to say the least about these proposals from Arriva/Cross Country Trains – and the manner in which they have announced them. There has been no press release or briefing to local Members of Parliament, and they issues relating to Torbay are hidden away in part of a 50 page consultation document contained on the train company’s website. Not good enough!
I cannot accept these proposals as they currently stand, as they will negatively impact on both my constituents and equally our much needed and valued visitors. I simply do not recognise the figures put forward by Cross Country to attempt to justify these changes – I frequently use the Birmingham/Manchester service myself and it is inevitably very busy. Put simply – we should be making it easier for people to visit the Bay, and these changes will make it more difficult."
You can read a copy of the consultation proposal document here and can respond to the proposals either at this link (although please consider carefully the wording of the questions), via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via post at CrossCountry Future Timetable Consultation, Freepost RRXU-HUEC-GLLY, 5th Floor Cannon House, 18 Priory Queensway, Birmingham B4 6BS.