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Gloucester Lib Dems demand hourly train services to London

April 8, 2019 1:00 PM

Jeremy Hilton at Gloucester Railway Station, with current timetable to London

Jeremy Hilton at Gloucester Railway Station, with current timetable to London

The Liberal Democrats are demanding Network Rail delivers on a commitment for hourly direct rail services to London from Gloucester.

Hourly direct services to Paddington were due to start in December 2018 but have been delayed until December 2019 at the earliest.

Councillor Jeremy Hilton, leader of Gloucester Liberal Democrats, is calling on Network Rail to deliver the hourly service as part of the forthcoming May 2019 timetable changes for the Great Western mainline.

"Hourly direct services to London from Gloucester and Cheltenham would be a real economic boost to Gloucestershire and may even encourage businesses to consider moving to the county," Councillor Hilton said.

"They would also improve links to the capital for Gloucester's residents.

"I understand train operator Great Western Railways is keen to run the services and I would urge Network Rail to bring forward the timetable changes to this May."

It is understood Network Rail has delayed implementing the hourly service due to problems with the timetable changes introduced last year, particularly on the Northern and Thameslink networks.

Network Rail has written to Gloucestershire County Council to inform them that from May there will be a new weekday 9.19am service from Cheltenham to Paddington with a weekday 4.36pm service in the return direction.

Councillor Hilton added: "Already, there has been major investment in dual tracking the railway line between Kemble and Swindon. GWR has also invested in new rolling stock.

"The additional daytime service that is being launched from May is a welcome improvement but we want to see the hourly services that were due to start last year introduced."