Somerset

Weston-super-Mare to London direct daily services safe

Direct services between Weston-super-Mare and London on the First Great Western train line have been secured.

There were concerns the government's rail re-franchise plans would have meant reduced services to the town.

New Rail Minister Simon Burns has told his officials to secure two direct daily services in each direction from companies bidding for the franchise.

The town's Conservative MP John Penrose said: "This is really good news for the people of Weston."

He added: "It means we're connected between Weston and London but also because if they time these services right - these big inter-city trains at the morning rush hour - it reduces overcrowding and makes a much better travelling experience for commuters between Weston and Bristol as well."

Rail Minister Simon Burns said: "I know how important improved rail connections are between London and Weston-super-Mare.

"I look forward to seeing the proposals from each of the bidders during the coming months."

The announcement is in addition to the planned five direct services each way across summer weekends already set out in the tender documents.

The new operator will be announced in March 2013 and the 15-year Great Western franchise will run from July 2013 to July 2028.

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