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MK criticise First Great Western over 'informal testing' of reduced train lengths during 2015
A senior Mebyon Kernow spokesman had condemned the decision by First Great Western, who operate the rail franchise linking Cornwall with London, to carry out 'informal testing' of reduced carriage lengths at peak times across the Duchy last year.

This "experiment" left hundreds of passengers having to stand for many hours when their coach was cut from services heading out of Cornwall.

Cllr Andrew Long, the party's spokesman on the economy, made the comment at a meeting of the Reputation and Performance Policy Advisory Committee at Cornwall Council, and urged the Council's leader John Pollard to intervene.

"I used the service on a number of occasions last year but this came as a bolt out of the blue in July when, without notice, First cut Coach D from their Inter City services out of the Duchy.  Dozens of passengers, many of whom were elderly, were left having to stand on the train as they had tickets and seat reservations for that carriage, but it simply was not there.

"I raised this twice with the Transport Portfolio Holder at the Council as he sits on the Rail Board but he was unaware of the situation," said Cllr Long.

"Cornwall is not being well served by First Great Western at the moment.  The Tamar Valley line is under threat of becoming just a minor spur off the proposed Tavistock branch line and we have some of the oldest rolling stock in the UK. So when passengers who use the service find no seats and are forced to stand, this sends out completely the wrong message.  Cllr Pollard has agreed to look into this debacle," he added.

First Great Western made the announcement that they had been testing shorter trains over Christmas when concerns were raised over the delay in the new Hitachi trains coming to the Peninsula.
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By Dick Cole. Published on 11th January 2016.

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