RAIL investment in west Cornwall was due to be on the agenda when Rail Minister Theresa Villiers visited the area on Wednesday.
She was due to visit St Ives MP Andrew George as The Cornishman went to print, taking the famous sleeper service from Paddington Station to Penzance and then travelling on the local service from Penzance to St Erth and on to St Ives. Mr George said he would be using the opportunity to lobby her for rail investment as well as improvements to the sleeper service.
Mr George, who recently contributed to the Great Western Franchise replacement consultation, said: "It's not just that we want to see further investment and improvements to the sleeper service we fought so hard to save six years ago, but we want the Government to set benchmarks for improvement and resilience in the service.
"On behalf of rail users in the west I have called on the Government to both safeguard and improve the range of through Intercity services to Penzance, including an hourly service to and from London. I know that the Minister 'gets' the need for a long franchise, which would encourage long-term investment and improvement in the service. She will experience the sleeper service, which is the best way of understanding what we're talking about."