I beg to move,
It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Betts. I thank the Backbench Business Committee for generously accepting my application for this urgently needed debate on the Great Western rail franchise, and the many colleagues from across the House who supported it. It is good to see so many colleagues from across the network in the Chamber; they will represent the concerns of passengers from across the network and the difficulties that they face. It is clear that the deteriorating GWR service affects many hon. Members and their constituents.
I also thank those who shared their stories and frustrations about GWR’s failures on the RailUK Forums and the Great Western passengers forum, and my constituents who did so on Facebook and Twitter. I thank the Parliamentary Digital Service for its outreach work in support of this debate, and the House of Commons Library and my office for helping to compile a list of some of those concerns.
Carmel, who commented on one of the forums, summed up the situation:
“Terrible customer experience with travel and website use. Cannot rely on the train service to get me to work on time despite my rail fare going up year on year. Cancelled trains, delayed trains, high cost...Hopeless and frustrating journeys day after day. Poor Wifi, ridiculous paper filling out to get a refund on tickets. Makes life very stressful for commuters.”
Those are some of the issues that I will touch on.