Brighton Thameslink passengers offered reassurance

Posted On 27 May 2010 at 5:48 pm

Rail officials have reassured Thameslink passengers that the Government has not scrapped a promise to buy new trains for the route.

Fears were raised by a report today on the BBC Radio 4 programme You And Yours.

Listeners were told that the Department for Transport (DfT) had said that it wouldn’t be going ahead with the purchase of high-speed trains for Thameslink because passenger numbers had not gone up as expected.

But the DfT said that, while the Government was reviewing all transport policies, no decision had been made.

Spacewords Brighton

A spokesman said that on Monday the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition Government had announced cuts relating to the procurement of new rolling stock but that these cuts did not affect Thameslink.

The order is expected to be worth more than £1 billion. The outgoing Labour Government had been expected to announce a deal by the end of this year.

The route, operated by First Capital Connect, is used by 78,000 passengers a day, many of them travelling to and from Brighton and Hove. Brighton Station alone is used by about 40,000 passengers a day.

The Thameslink programme is a £5.5 billion scheme to increase capacity on the Central London stretch of the route.

This involves extending platforms to allow longer trains – 12 carriages long – as well as a more frequent service. It also involves upgrading the line in the centre of London.

The aim was to complete much of the work in time for the 2012 Olympics.

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