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Minister writes to Westbury council over electrification
6:00pm Sunday 8th September 2013 in Latest News
Westbury Town Council has had a response from the Minister of State for Trans-port, Simon Burns, after expressing disappointment at the decision not to extend electrification to Westbury.
The Great Western Electrification plans were due to stop at Newbury, but pressure group Westbury Train Watch was pushing for an option that included Westbury station.
The Department for Trans-port considered four further options – three including an extension to Westbury – and appointed consultants ARUP to conduct a review.
However, Westbury Train Watch learned in May that the extension to Westbury was not considered good value for money.
“I am sorry to hear you are disappointed by the report’s findings,” said Mr Burns, in a letter to the council. “As you know, it concluded that a positive business case for extension of electrification beyond Bedwyn could not be made.”
He allayed concerns about any potential loss of London through services until at least 2016, when the contract with First Great Western ends.
Cllr Ian Cunningham, from Westbury Train Watch, said: “I’m convinced we’ll be in a better position for the next franchise competition.”