Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

02 DEC 2014

Steve Brine raises local rail capacity in Parliament

Steve Brine spoke up for Winchester commuters as spoke about local rail capacity in a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday 2nd December.

The Winchester & Chandler's Ford MP took part in the Wessex Route Study (Passenger Capacity) debate, which was called by neighbouring MP Maria Miller, and which sought to tackle the huge increase in rail passenger journeys since privatisation in the 1990s.

Mr Brine highlighted the need to keep a close eye on first class, which he said often had surplus capacity, and also raised the idea that the very idea of 'first-class' provision is an anachronism in the modern age.

He raised recent success stories for Winchester, including a £3.5 million scheme which brought the new decked car park to Winchester station, excellent new cycling facilities, wi-fi on many services leaving Winchester, the new footbridge improving access especially for the disabled, as well as lighting and extended opening times which will greatly improve safety.

Turning to capacity, he said: "The issue is with the lack of seats on the 6.31 am, the 6.48 am, the 7.05 am and the notorious 7.18 am—standing with one's face in an armpit is probably one of the best outcomes for which one can hope on that service—out of Winchester into London. That is what really hurts my constituents."

He quoted a constituent who had told him: ""With ticket costs increasing year on year, and with little discernible increase in seating capacity, insult is being added to injury", with a standard season ticket between Winchester and London costing £5,500 a year, which is, next to the mortgage, the second biggest outgoing for many Winchester constituents. They are entitled to a seat for that money."

Mr Brine said that this must be the start of the conversation, and that as a group, MPs from Hampshire are happy to see the Minister at any time to help push this conversation forward.

He floated the idea of double-deck rolling stock, and was pleased to hear that Waterloo was very much on the Minister's radar.

He concluded by saying: "However, we really have done as much as we can on car parking, wi-fi, cycle parking, foot bridges, the wonderful new concessions at Waterloo and making things nice for the traveller there. In many ways, that is the icing on the cake, but we now need to go back and work on the cake—that is about the infrastructure and the routes in and out of Waterloo. That is where we need real help and real change for all our constituents."

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Contact Steve Brine in Westminster

Call your MP in his Commons office on 0207 219 7189 or email steve.brine.mp@parliament.uk

Early Day Motions (EDMs)

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