Duncan raised the problem of overcrowding on local trains in the House of Commons and called for more services to meet demand.
Duncan described to the Secretary for State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, how he could only sit on the floor of a carriage as each of his last two journeys departed Chippenham for London – in one case, next to a young woman with crutches for whom there was no seat either. He argued that additional services are needed to meet demand for train travel in our area.
Duncan is leading a cross-party campaign for a new direct Oxford to Bristol rail service, which would help to relieve overcrowding on current trains and could also facilitate the re-opening of Corsham station.
Duncan organised a joint letter from the 10 MPs with constituencies along the proposed route to the Transport Secretary calling for the introduction of this service, and secured a meeting with him last month to present their case for it. He has also received support for the plans from local business groups including the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
“It’s great that more people are choosing to travel by train, but overcrowding on local trains is clearly a problem. There needs to be enough seats for everyone, and those unable to stand especially should not be left to sit on the floor.
“Less crowded trains from Cheltenham also leave Swindon for London, but we have far fewer and more overcrowded trains between Bath, Chippenham and Swindon.
“A new service connecting Bristol, Bath, Chippenham and Swindon to Oxford and Bedford would help relieve this problem, as well as providing the key to unlocking our long-standing campaign to re-open Corsham station.”