REQUIREMENTS for a train operator to improve services between Portsmouth and Southampton have been welcomed by an MP.
Flick Drummond, MP for Portsmouth South and the infrastructure spokeswoman for Hampshire MPs, said the government had listened to people’s concerns over the performance South West Trains and now recognises that improvement across the board must be made.
Her comments came as the Department of Transport invited companies to tender for the franchise to run from June 2017, with a preferred bidder in place by early next year.
Mrs Drummond said the franchise had been too London-centric and was ignoring the requirements of the Solent region. Key to the new operator winning will be its ability to demonstrate it can improve connections with Southampton Airport and Portsmouth ferry port.
Mrs Drummond added: ‘I very much welcome a commitment to provide a 20 per cent increase in peak-time capacity to reduce overcrowding across the franchise, 95 additional services per day from December 2018 and the improving of journey times on 70 per cent of all services from December 2020.’