Stephen Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West, has joined a coalition of ten Members of Parliament calling for a new direct rail service between Bristol and Oxford. They have written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, urging him to introduce the service and requesting a meeting with him to discuss it.
The proposed route would connect Bristol, Bath, Chippenham and Swindon to Oxford and Bedford, and is the key to unlocking the campaign to re-open local stations along the route. In the letter, which calls for the service to be included in the next Great Western franchise, Stephen Williams MP is joined by all MPs along the route from Coalition Government parties, including Bath MP and Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Don Foster.
Stephen Williams MP said:
“A direct Bristol to Oxford rail service would also better serve Swindon, Chippenham, Bath and other stations along the way. It would run along existing track that is currently being electrified, so would require relatively little new infrastructure.
“Instead of being a lone voice on this, I am part of a cross-party group of MPs to maximise our chance of success.
“We know existing services are increasingly overcrowded and people travelling from towns without stations causes traffic congestion on our roads. Now I am looking to businesses and major employers to make clear their support for the economic benefits of better connecting towns and cities along this route with Bristol and Oxford. It would also be great to connect research intensive universities in Bristol with Bath and Oxford, and ultimately onto Cambridge”