SERUG have expressed serious concerns about the working of the line after reading various reports about the new First/MTR franchise award, now branded as South Western Railway (SWR), and wrote to the Dft (Peter Wilkinson ) expressing our views about lack of any improvement in services, capacity increases, passenger benefit and standards, continuing with the existing 25 year old trains, lack of more car parking, and a serious concern about unregulated fares and car parking charges. The response from the Dft gave no help.. From their decision, they think their “improvements” are good, but, an example of one, is the 11 minute time saving from Salisbury to Waterloo, that they may be able to achieve if Woking and Clapham Junction stops are omitted. There will be public consultation on that issue, as SERUG would be set fully against that option.
Andy Mellors has been appointed the MD for the new franchise. He was formerly GWR’s engineering Director.
We had a constructive meeting with SWR in July and now the major Waterloo station works (phase one) are complete we look forward to working with them to improve the railway.
In August 2017 Railfuture and SERUG delivered a paper “Salisbury to Exeter Route Capacity Enhancements which can be read in full in the Publications section of this web site. It suggests the way forward to improve capacity, services, and passenger benefits. This is with all 8 MP’s on the route plus the Minster. Our lobbying for improvements with your help gives this paper critical importance.