Maria Miller is calling for a new “Commuters Charter” for rail passengers in Basingstoke as the Government launches a 12 week public consultation to shape plans for future rail improvements.

The Government consultation launched on 12 November is asking for view on what the next operator of the South Western franchise should do to deliver the rail services that people want.

Maria has been campaigning to secure the investment needed to tackle overcrowding on trains operating on the main line from Basingstoke into Waterloo, and also to get improvements in customer service.

Maria said: “My main focus is on improving the lot of commuters from Basingstoke, who regularly have to put up with standing room only for up to an hour, on both their morning and evening journeys. We already need 20% more space on trains at peak time to cope and by 2043 trains through Basingstoke will need 60% more space because of new housing being built.”

“I want to see a new “Commuters Charter”, which could deliver greater capacity, by running longer trains, and making more room by getting rid of First Class carriages. It could also deliver improved customer service, with good free wifi, new approaches to ticketing, including for people who commute on a less regular basis, and better station and car parking facilities. I am also calling for the replacement of the three seat configurations on trains, which are universally disliked.”

“I would be very interested to hear from local residents who use the trains about what improvements they want to see from the next operator on this route, and I would also encourage people to respond to the consultation directly.”