South Dorset MP Backs Plans For New Train Services

Richard Drax

Published at 10:16am 11th March 2016.

Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, has spoken out in support of new proposed train services between North and South Dorset.

Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, has spoken out in support of new proposed train services between North and South Dorset.

South West Trains want to run new direct services to Dorchester and Weymouth from Sherborne, Gillingham and Salisbury.

Speaking to Wessex FM, Drax hopes the new plans would boost tourism and the local economy.

"It's great idea... This will boost our tourism and local businesses and once these visitors see what Weymouth has to offer, I'm sure they'll be back!

"We have long campaigned for better rail connectivity for Weymouth... Opening up routes to North Dorset and East Dorset and beyond will serve us well now and with any luck, might show a way forward for the future."

South West Trains say the change could be brought in as soon as May this year.

Consultation is currently taking place with local authorities, communities and rail user groups about the proposals which would be introduced in May 2016 and include:

-  New weekday morning service from Yeovil Pen Mill to London Waterloo - departing 5.41am

-  Summer Saturday 'Seaside Specials' proposal of direct trains to Weymouth and Dorchester from Salisbury, Tisbury, Gillingham, Templecombe, Sherborne and Yeovil

-   8 additional Summer Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday services between Yeovil Junction and Yeovil Pen Mill, facilitating improved East Devon/North Dorset connectivity to Dorchester and Weymouth

-  South West Trains to serve Maiden Newton , Thornford, Yetminster and Chetnole for the first on summer Saturdays

The summer trains would run on Saturdays and Bank Holiday Mondays from 21st May through to 3rd September and help to provide a boost for communities, local businesses and tourism throughout the summer months.

Chris Loder, Head of Service Strategy at South West Trains, said: "Following on from our successful December improvements, these proposals would further support communities and the local economy. By running these additional services in Dorset and Somerset we hope to offer more opportunities to travel to Weymouth and West Dorset by train."

"We're looking forward to hearing from passengers, businesses, local communities and rail user groups in the coming weeks and we urge anyone with feedback on the plans to get in touch."

The deadline for responses is Friday 18th March 2016 and responses can be sent by email to WoE@swtrains.co.uk