A REGULAR passenger train service could be reintroduced to the centre of Bodmin after the proposal received a positive response from Transport Minister Simon Burns.
North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson asked the Government to re-introduce rail services to Bodmin town centre and create a regular service to Okehampton to bring a rail link closer to the Launceston and Bude areas during a House of Commons debate.
Cornwall Council is also looking at the possibility of bringing daily network passenger trains to Bodmin General, using the same track as steam train operators the Bodmin and Wenford Railway.
"Along with Cornwall Council I will be continuing to work to re-instate services to Bodmin General station,’’ said the MP.
“ This would be a huge boost for Bodmin in terms of jobs, investment and tourism. It would also help people in Bodmin access opportunities further afield by linking the town centre to the existing railway services in Cornwall.’’
Mr Rogerson raised the possibility of the new Great Western franchise for rail services in Cornwall and the South West - due to begin in July 2016 - running more services to Okehampton, to bring rail services nearer to Bude, Launceston and the far North and East of the Duchy. There is currently only a mainline service to Okehampton on Sundays in the summer months.
He also discussed the potential for an Okehampton Parkway station near the A30 to make it easier for local people, businesses and tourists to get to and from North Cornwall.
Speaking after the House of Commons debate, Mr Rogerson said: "The Transport Minister was supportive about the proposals for bringing rail services back to Bodmin town centre, as well as increasing the services to and from Okehampton.
“A frequent daily service to Okehampton would bring also help local people, businesses and tourism in the area by bringing rail services much closer to the far North and East of Cornwall around Bude, Launceston and the North Coast.
"I also asked the Transport Minister to consider plans for an Okehampton Parkway station situated close to the A30, to provide a better rail link for local people who would otherwise have to travel to Exeter or Plymouth.
"The minister was also positive about maintaining and improving both existing rail services within Cornwall and our direct and sleeper services from Penzance to London, and said that he would look in more detail at proposals to improve the railway infrastructure to help with problems such as the flooding we saw locally and at Exeter last year."