2 Nov 2008

Battle to have railway line doubled lost: shameful

The battle to have the railway line doubled between Kemble and Swindon has been lost for the moment. Shameful. The Office of the Rail Regulator announced during the week that the single-track section – the main bottleneck on the Cheltenham to London route – will not be doubled to a track each way.

Photo: Stroud Station

The current single track affects the reliability and frequency of trains on the line and limits rail services to Gloucestershire. The decision was made despite the fact that the Swindon/Kemble improvements received more support in the ORR consultation than all other individual projects put together.

What was the point of consultation if once again it is ignored? Commuters, businesses, MPs, county council and several other local authorities rallied together to campaign for the doubling of the track, but the ORR has confirmed the work will not be included in Network Rail's business plan for 2009-14. As regular blog readers will know Greens were amongst those campaigning on this - it is bitter blow but we will not stop campaigning on this.

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