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Max makes the case for rail improvements to industry bosses

Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Max Wilkinson met with rail chiefs to discuss the future of rail services for Cheltenham passengers.

Max held a meeting recently with the Rail Delivery Group to talk about the government's Williams Rail Review and find out more about plans for Cheltenham's rail services.

As part of the discussions, Max raised concerns about facilities at Cheltenham Spa train station, as well as unreliable weekend services.

Recent improvement works to the train station by Great Western Railway were beset by delays and original plans for a new ticket office, two new bay platforms and a new forecourt were eventually scaled back to just 70 new parking spaces.

Weekend cancellations are also a frequent occurrence for Cheltenham passengers, leading to overcrowding on trains and passengers forced to stand for much of their journeys.

The RDG is the British rail industry membership body, representing every passenger and freight rail company in the UK, as well as Network Rail and HS2.

Speaking after the meeting, Max said: “It was great to meet with Andy Bagnall from the RDG and find out more about the group's work on the government's Williams Rail Review.

"As a parliamentary candidate for Cheltenham, I was pleased to raise my concerns about the problems faced by rail passengers in the town.

"There has been a lot of money spent recently on Cheltenham Spa station but this doesn’t seem to have delivered a great deal for Cheltenham rail passengers.

“Cheltenham’s train station is the busiest in the county – with 2.5million visitors each year – but it is not equipped to provide a good enough experience for passengers.

“Weekend rail services in Cheltenham and across the county are unreliable. Last-minute cancellations are frequent and cause huge inconvenience to passengers.

“The Liberal Democrats recognise the dire state of the country’s railways and I am delighted the party recently passed a policy motion to build railways fit for the 21st century."

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