Anne Main: "Early funding decision vital to alleviate commuter congestion 'nightmare'"
21st November 2006
Anne Main spoke out in the House of Commons about the congested, expensive train services endured by St Albans' commuters.
Anne Main, Conservative MP for St Albans yesterday spoke out in the House of Commons about the congested, expensive train services endured by St Albans' commuters. Anne tackled the Minister about making an early funding decision on the Thameslink 2000 project which would give additional capacity on the line and relieve the ghastly overcrowding.
Addressing the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Ruth Kelly MP in the House of Commons, Anne said:
"I look forward, too, to getting an early funding decision on Thameslink 2000. If we are going to expect people to get out of their cars and into trains, it is no good accepting bids such as the First Capital Connect franchise bid in my constituency, which meant fewer passenger places and increased fares of 84%. We need the transport infrastructure and an early funding decision next year. I hope that we will hear something about that."
After leaving the chamber Anne added:
"I am regularly being contacted by angry St Albans commuters who are describing their travel 'nightmares' with First Capital Connect. I have said all along that the only way to reduce overcrowding is to increase capacity on the line, with the 319's tied up until 2009 we need new stock and we need it soon. Elaine Holt Chief Executive for FCC confirmed that more rolling stock was the only way forward only this month, Ms Holt has refused to consider reversing the new funding and timetabling arrangements so new trains are a priority. Meetings with Network rail have lead me to believe that although the planning decision regarding the overdue Thameslink 2000 has now been resolved on our line; the trickier issue of funding still needs to be agreed, I am determined to raise this funding issue at every opportunity. My commuters need a better deal, if the Government wants us to get out of our cars, then they must deliver funding for our trains.""