AN MP has branded Portsmouth’s rail link to London as not fit for purpose.
Gosport’s Caroline Dinenage is holding a House of Commons debate on the railway in the Portsmouth area.
She argues the south coast has suffered under-investment for a number of years.
She is due to say: ‘We hear constantly about the north-south divide, too often forgetting those communities across the south who are really struggling.
‘In my town of Gosport 19 per cent of children live in poverty – and that number rises even higher to a staggering 32 per cent for parts of Portsmouth.
‘London may be booming but that’s not much use for people south of the capital if they are cut off from prosperity by poor transport links.
‘Gosport is allegedly the largest town in the UK without a railway – and, once our commuters have crossed the harbour on the ferry to catch the train, it takes as long to get to London from Portsmouth as it does from Doncaster – a distance twice as far.
‘As the south coast struggles with a transport system that is simply not fit for purpose it seems the rest of the country is receiving the investment it needs. It’s imperative that we make sure that communities in the South aren’t left behind.’
Ms Dinenage wants increased speed and value for money on routes from Portsmouth to London, an expansion at Waterloo station and to bring four former Eurostar platforms back into use.
She also wants to see rail bosses look at options for a new track to replace the London to Portsmouth line.