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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
MPs call for better rail services
First Great Western
Fewer branch line journeys are planned from next year
South West MPs have appealed for Devon rail services to be upgraded.

Three MPs highlighted the problems passengers were facing and said government action was needed.

The MPs used a House of Commons session on Tuesday to call for more services and shorter journey times between the South West and London.

Transport Minister Derek Twigg said while the government set the rules for rail franchises, train companies decided how services were delivered.

Totnes Conservative MP Anthony Steen called for more regular services between Totnes, Exeter and Plymouth, and especially during the rush hour. Plymouth Devonport Labour MP Alison Seabeck then warned that the city would suffer if journey times to London were not reduced.

South West Devon Conservative MP Gary Streeter said proposed timetable changes would have an impact on Ivybridge station.

Fewer journeys

Ivybridge's daily services are due to drop from 24 to 10, despite a 70% increase in passenger numbers in the town in the last four years, according to the Ivybridge Rail Users Group.

Mr Twigg said the possibility of more services at the station was being "closely considered" by his officials.

First Great Western were investing 220m in their services over the next three years, he added.

Fewer branch line journeys are planned when First Group takes over routes currently run by Wessex Trains in December.

The company says its proposed timetable is in line with the services the government wants to run from December

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