Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the announcement that the Department for Transport will soon be launching a full public consultation on the future of railway provision in the South West.

The announcement comes as it was revealed that the Department had been unable to reach an agreement with Stagecoach South West Trains to make a Direct Award for the next South Western rail franchise which will run from February 2017 – April 2019.  Therefore, a franchise competition will be launched to ensure that passenger benefits are delivered in a way that achieves best value for taxpayers.

In reaction to the news, Caroline said:

“Whilst it is disappointing to hear that the Department for Transport was unable to reach an agreement with Stagecoach South West Trains, I believe that the launch of a franchise competition will pave the way for the development of an exciting and innovative plan for service provision into the 2020s.

This is a great opportunity for improvements to our local rail connectivity and I would recommend that local people who travel regularly on services from our area respond to the consultation and get their voices heard. 

Caroline has long campaigned for better rail services to the Gosport peninsula; in the last Parliament she led debates in the House of Commons, asked questions of Government departments and held meetings with South West Trains.

The Department of Transport has yet to confirm the details of the consultation but once it does so, the details will be posted on Caroline’s website.