Ian Liddell-Grainger – 2022 Parliamentary Question on Taunton Railway Station

The parliamentary question asked by Ian Liddell-Grainger, the Conservative MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, in the House of Commons on 1 December 2022.

Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater and West Somerset) (Con)

If we are talking about service level, Taunton station is an example of what we have got wrong in this country. We spent an enormous of amount of money on redoing the station, but the parking is inadequate; cars queue back to the road to get in; people cannot get in if they are disabled or have heavy bags; and people have to walk 100 yards to get a bus to go anywhere. The service level of our stations is not right, so how on earth can the service level of our trains be right? If the first points of call for people—the ticket offices, the staff who work in the stations and the type of stations we have—are not there, we have a fundamental problem. Can we please look at the way that stations are run in this country?

Huw Merriman

My hon. Friend is right that we need to ensure that the entire experience attracts passengers and brings them back. It is about not just the service level, but the station experience. I travelled through Taunton station on Monday on my way to the reopened Okehampton line from Exeter. I am afraid that I did not stop off, so I was not able to experience what he has described, but I am happy to look at that further and discuss it with him. We have a station modernisation fund and the Access for All programme that is delivering more accessibility to passengers, which is vital. I will have a chat with him about it.