Campaigners fighting to improve rail services in and around Bristol are urging the public to back their plans for a bigger and better network.
The Department for Transport (DfT) will shortly give full details of what it wants from the successful bidder for the new Great Western Railway franchise, due to start in April 2013.
The 15-year contract is being fought over by National Express, Deutsche Bahn and StageCoach, as well as current franchise holder First, for the right to run services in and around Bristol and between the city and London.
The Green Party in the South West has put forward its plans to the Great Western Franchise Consultation, which include: fares reduced by at least 50%, stations re-opened in many areas, and the re-development of old routes for a comprehensive regional rail services.
As well as the re-opening of the rail line from Bristol to Portishead, its report also calls for the support of the Greater
Bristol Metro train service - a joint campaign by the four West of England authorities, political parties and pressure groups.
The aim is a half-hourly service to all stations in the new Great Western franchise which starts next year.
Daniel Casey, author of the report, said: “This is one of the most significant opportunities of the next 15 years to improve the railways of the South West. The public must make it clear to all the stakeholders that we want a comprehensive, sustainable network focused on inclusion, and not on commercial interest.”
The Greens are calling on the public to make sure their views are heard now. Contact Martin Holt, who is overseeing the Great Western Region Franchise Specification, at firstname.lastname@example.org, your MP, the Minister of State for
Transport Theresa Villiers (email@example.com ) and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker MP (firstname.lastname@example.org).