Longer franchises will put Stockport on the right track

October 2, 2009 6:02 PM
Mark speaking at Lib Dem Conference 2009

Mark speaking at Lib Dem Conference 2009

A new Cheadle Train Station and high speed rail links to Manchester will not be possible unless the Government extend the length of rail franchises, Cheadle MP Mark Hunter told Lib Dem Conference last week.

Mr Hunter spoke at the event in support of a new policy motion which backed extending the length of rail franchises to 30 years with five-yearly reviews. The motion was passed with strong support after his speech. Currently rail franchises operate for a period of around 5-10 years, with only a few exceptions. But Train Operating Companies say this simply isn't long enough to invest in sufficient rolling stock, causing them to hold back on key improvements to the UK rail infrastructure.

Mark Hunter MP and Cheadle & Gatley Councillor Iain Roberts also recently obtained success in petitioning the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority, who have agreed to carry out a feasibility study on a possible Cheadle train station.

Commenting after his speech, Mark said:

"The simple truth is that train passengers deserve better. But we will only see progress if the Government extend the length of rail franchises, and give companies the security they need to invest.

"Investment in rail means less crowded, more comfortable journeys; less expensive journeys; greater access for people with disabilities and a sustainable system which presents a serious challenge to climate change.

"I will continue to campaign both locally and nationally for the rail improvements we need."

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