The train operator, CrossCountry, have laid out plans to reduce the number of daily trains operating between Paignton, Birmingham, and Manchester, to just one, which will leave the Bay at 7am on weekdays.
However, a significant number commuters in the Torbay area claim to be reliant on the direct services between the English Riviera and the North. As a result of this, commuters and concerned members of the public have begun campaigning to stop the draconian cuts to the rail services.
The English Riviera, which is very much dependent on tourism from the Midlands and the North of England, will suffer financially as a direct result of the proposed cuts. According to the Torbay Rail Users Group the cuts could potentially damage Torbay’s economy by around £5 million a year.
In response to this, the Torbay Herald Express have launched the ‘Save Our Trains’ campaign in a bid to draw more attention to the proposed cuts. They’ve also set up a petition which they hope may convince CrossCountry to reconsider the proposed cuts.
Jill Seymour MEP, UKIP’s Transport spokesperson, said: “Cross Country Trains need to consider the needs of their customers and support the local economy; we are always being told that improved rail services increase economic activity and it is quite wrong to cut services to a level where they are ineffective.
“I call on Cross Country Trains to revisit their decision and provide a service needed to support Torbay and the surrounding area.”
Dr Julia Reid MEP, who represents the South West Counties, said: “The Government is currently in the process of spending £55 billion of taxpayers’ money on the HS2 project, which will only cut the duration of affected train journeys by a fraction. Not only is this a huge waste of money, but it also has a rather detrimental impact on local communities and the environment.
“Rather than wasting any more on the HS2 project, the Government should be looking at ways to improve our pre-existing railway infrastructure, in addition to making current services more efficient. For example, the last train from London Paddington to Penzance leaves at 19:03 and doesn’t reach until 00:40. This is not an acceptable service in the 21st century; dare one say, if Isambard Kingdom Brunel was still alive today, things would be a lot better now, than what they currently are.”