Lib Dem West of England mayoral candidate Stephen Williams has outlined his plans to open new local railway stations, get electrification back on schedule and to introduce new train and tram links across the region.
The Liberal Democrats will be publishing a full regional manifesto at the end of March, ahead of the West of England mayoral election on 4th May. Having already made sustainable public transport a top priority, Stephen Williams has now promised to:
- Open new local stations, including the old Ashley Hill station between Stapleton Road and Filton Abbey Wood, Charfield station on the line between Yate and Gloucester and the re-opening of Saltford station between Bath and Bristol
- Get rail electrification back on schedule, to enable faster local trains and the opening of extra stations at St Anne’s and Winterbourne
- Introduce new services on current lines, such as a new direct link between Clifton and Bath and extra carriages and twice hourly services to benefit Yate and Chipping Sodbury.
- Introduce new services on old lines, such as the re-opening of the line to Portishead
- Commission feasibility studies with a view to introducing a rail link for Thornbury and a tram link to Bristol Airport
Stephen Williams said:
“A decently run public transport system is absolutely key to improving our economy and access to jobs. It’s time to get our local rail services back on track. Yet on every indicator that matters to passengers - frequency, reliability, and comfort – our local railways and trains are failing.
“Bristol and Bath must be the two cities with the worst local rail services in the country. Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow and so many others have amazing suburban train services. Cities like Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield have tram networks as well. All that Bristol has is the Severn Beach Line, serving the west and north west of the city plus a couple of stations in Bedminster on the line to Weston. Bath has local stations on the main line at Oldfield Park and Freshford. That’s it. Pathetic. No wonder only 2% of people commute to work by train, lower than anywhere else.
“Only the Liberal Democrats have a plan in place to move the region forward by improving our train and tram network and on May 4th voters will have a clear choice between me and the inexperienced, Brexit-backing Tory candidate.”