Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
After a year long campaign, Kerry welcomed the news today that the Liberal Democrats have caved in to pressure and reinstated the Council’s subsidy for the Severn Beach Line service. The Council is expected to agree to give First Great Western 140,000 to invest in the line from December 2007 – in effect reinstating the subsidy scrapped by the Lib Dems last year – and an annual grant of 450,000 from March 2008.
Kerry has worked closely with local community rail campaigners such as the Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways (FOSBR) and others over the past year, making the case for a more frequent service on the Severn Beach Line so that it can become a genuine commuter service. This included putting down an Early Day Motion in Parliament, campaigning at railway stations and on the trains, and raising the issue with FGW and Government Ministers.
The campaign’s success was in no small part due to the efforts of FOSBR campaigners, Cat Hobbs and Julie Boston, who devoted huge amounts of energy and time to making sure the case for investment was raised at every possible opportunity.