MP Iain happy with rail usage figures

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MP Iain Stewart said he is happy with the increase in rail passengers between October and December last year.

Mr Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South and PPS to the Secretary of State for Transport, was commenting on a recent report from the Office of Rail Regulation that showed 402.8million passengers made journeys, a 4.5 per cent increase on the same period the year before.

The ORR put the increase down to significant investment in the railway, contributing to growth and more people buying cheaper tickets in advance.

The report showed the opening of new lines and stations were a key factor, along with additional services and trains. Improvements to station facilities including car parking and bicycle storage also had a positive affected on people choosing to travel by rail.

Mr Stewart said: “This is a very positive trend and I am glad to see that government investment is making a real difference. Over the next five years around £38billion would have been invested into our existing railways. This is one the biggest ever investments into the network. The government know people are choosing to travel by train and they are keen to keep up with demand.”

In Milton Keynes investment is continuing to help improve and ease the pressures of commuting. In December Virgin trains announced five new services to stop in Milton Keynes and most recently the conservative led council announced £75,000 would be spent on new toilet facilities in the station.

Mr Stewart said: “Although more still needs to be done for commuters in Milton Keynes, there is a significant amount of changes taking place. Virgin Pendolino trains have been lengthened to provide more seats; London Midland will be introducing 40 new carriages and have upgraded their trains to run at 110mph.

“Milton Keynes Central station is being refurbished and the new East-West Railway will see new services to Bicester, Oxford, Aylesbury and beyond.”