Keep the Cornish sleeper train, says union

25 November 2005

ASLEF has joined the many voices protesting at the threat to the London to Penzance sleeper train, aka the Night Riviera. ‘This is not just a romantic attachment to the past,’ says Keith Norman. ‘Passenger numbers have increased by 15 per cent in four years. Even now, well out of the tourist season, the service is running at 70 per cent capacity.’

The SRA issued a consultation paper in June on the future of the service, but its assurances that ‘no decision’ has yet been made on the future of the service has been greeted with scepticism. Rather than reassure, it has led to increased activity, more details of which can be found at

www.saveoursleeper.com.

There is also a petition we invite members and visitors to sign calling for the train to be saved at
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/sleeper/

The campaign is supported by Cornwall County Council, Members of Parliament representing all three parties from constituencies along the route and many businesses based in Devon and Cornwall. It has also attracted an interesting range of individual supporters, including the former governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, the explorer, Robin Hanbury-Tenison, the hotelier, Olga Polizzi, and the transport writer, Christian Wolmar.

Claimed financial savings are less than convincing. First Great Western, the operator, claims that the cut would save £1 million but the SRA and the government claim £5 million. However, First has refused to specify how much is paid each year for fuel, laundry, catering and other costs and the TOC has indicated that staff will be redeployed elsewhere.

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