The new provider of trains across the south east officially launched today, Monday 4 September 2017, at London Waterloo.
The franchise was awarded by Government to the South Western Railways, a company which is owned by FirstGroup (70%) and MTR Corporation (30%) back in March of this year, and took over the running of the region’s network from South West Trains in late August.
Stephen Morgan, Labour Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, attended the official launch at London Waterloo. Stephen has been campaigning for a better deal for rail passengers in Portsmouth and an improvement to the speed at which trains get to and from London.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“I have already written to Andy Mellors, Managing Director of South Western Railways, about what I expect them to be offering in our great city.
I also took the opportunity again today at the launch of their service at London Waterloo to lobby for improvements for Portsmouth including speeding up journey times and enhancing station facilities.
It is unacceptable in 2017 that it takes just as long to get to London from our city as it did in Victorian times, whilst a number of our stations are looking tired and desperately need more attention.
SWR have made a number of commitments to run this vital service which I welcome. I will be keeping a close eye on their delivery to make sure they deliver for the people of Portsmouth”.
As a nation we pay some of the highest fares in Europe for increasingly unreliable and overcrowded services.
Labour is committed to bringing the network into public ownership as franchises expire so that real improvements for passengers can be made including capping fares, ensuring safe staffing levels, and improving accessibility for people with disabilities.