Duncan welcomed the announcement that the electrification of the Great Western Main Line will include the line through Bath and Chippenham.
The proposals, explained by the Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond MP, could cut journey times between London and Chippenham to just under an hour.
Since his election in May 2010, Duncan has been campaigning for improved rail service provision in Wiltshire, supporting the TransWilts bid for a Swindon to Salisbury service and calling for electrification of the railways to benefit Wiltshire.
In a Westminster Hall debate on February 17th, Duncan said:
“I understand the need to make decisions about powering future inter-city services, which have delayed decisions about the rest of the line. However, I ask the Government to bring forward their proposals for further electrification of the line, to give the rail industry, businesses and passengers alike the certainty that they need to plan for the future.”
On Tuesday 1st March, Philip Hammond said:
“We have concluded that there is a case for extending electrification westwards to Bristol and Cardiff, and I am today asking Network Rail to add that major extension to its electrification programme immediately. This is good news for Wales and the south-west against a backdrop of public spending constraint as we deal with the legacy of debt that we inherited.”
“I am delighted that rail electrification will be coming to Wiltshire. This is a significant breakthrough for improved rail provision in the area which will benefit many of my constituents.”
Duncan has also been a strong supporter of the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership’s campaign for an improved TransWilts line between Swindon and Salisbury.
On Thursday 3rd March, Duncan presented a petition to the House of Commons on behalf of Melksham Oak School Council, calling for improved rail services in the area. The petition contained over 300 signatures from staff and students who would like the Government to allocate some of its 650 spare rolling stock to Wiltshire.
“I am impressed by the initiative of the Melksham Oak students who have organised a popular petition and raised awareness of the need for improved rail services in Wiltshire. I was very pleased to present the petition to the House of Commons on their behalf.”