GOSPORT MP PRESSES MINISTER ON SOUTH COAST RAIL LINKS

Local MP Caroline Dinenage today continued her fight for improved rail links between Portsmouth and London, pushing the Government in the House of Commons for faster trains from the south coast to the capital. Having successfully secured a number of significant funding packages for local roads, the local MP has repeatedly pushed the Government on rail issues in the South of England, calling numerous debates and inviting Ministers to her constituency on multiple occasions.

Speaking in the chamber Caroline said, "I recognise this Government's enormous investment in our railways, but I'm keen to know when we might see some improvements in the London to Portsmouth line; it's still faster to get to Doncaster which is twice as far."

Responding on behalf of the Government, the Rail Minister Claire Perry said, "The honourable lady will know that the Portsmouth station is not only an important station for her constituents but is a vital artery for people travelling up and down through the counties. One of the problems has been the inability to run longer trains into Waterloo station where the throat has effectively been blocked for many years. We are now investing to increase platforms length and unblock some of that complexity, and indeed there is the draft Wessex route study going on to see how we can get faster trains from her constituency."

Speaking outside the Chamber, Caroline said:

"Whilst vast amounts of money are being ploughed into rail projects and route upgrades across the country, Gosport is still the largest town in the UK without a railway and commuters travelling between Portsmouth and London are faced with long, uncomfortable journeys.

I look forward to reading the Wessex Route study & hope that the Government will recognise the need to improve connectivity to the South Coast and work with providers to secure this."