Richard Benyon meets with First Great Western to discuss Electrification and Service Performance

Member of Parliament for Newbury, Richard Benyon, has met with First Great Western’s Managing Director, Mark Hopwood, to discuss issues ranging from the electrification of the Great Western Mainline to the performance of services affecting constituents in West Berkshire.

Following an announcement from the Government that Network Rail’s planned upgrade programme for 2014-2019 will take longer than originally scheduled, Richard received firm assurances that the electrification of the Great Western Mainline was an absolute priority. 

He also discussed his determination to see electrification extended beyond Newbury to Bedwyn, thereby servicing Kintbury and Hungerford stations respectively.

On electrification, Richard said: “I am pleased that the Transport Secretary classified electrification of the Great Western Mainline as a ‘top priority,’ a view endorsed by First Great Western. I remain committed to ensure the extension of electrification and following yesterday’s announcement I will be writing to the Department for Transport.”

On other issues, Mark informed Richard of new rolling stock, which will be serving constituents. This will help in addressing issues of overcrowding. What is more, First Great Western will be working to ensure more parking provision as part of the redevelopment of Market Street.