Earlier today I held a Zoom meeting with Crosscountry Trains, with my Monmouth colleague David TC Davies MP.
At the centre of our conversation with Crosscountry were discussions to ensure that Crosscountry assist school children from the Forest of Dean and Monmouthshire to arrive in Cheltenham and Gloucester in a timely manner for school each day.
Since children resumed regular schooling in September, parents and other stakeholders have highlighted how temporary changes to Crosscountry timetables, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, had increased the time needed travelling to schools in Gloucestershire. Children were now needing to leave earlier to reach school on time and returning later in the afternoon.
Following the meeting, I am pleased to announce that Crosscountry has committed to resume the morning departures from Chepstow at 0715 and Lydney at 0724 to Gloucester after the half-term break, starting on Monday 2nd November 2020. Furthermore, Crosscountry will also continue to work with local stakeholders to find realistic options to replace the afternoon return service at the end of the school day.
The extended school day was just another pressure on the children at this difficult time and I am pleased to see this positive change. I will continue to work with Crosscountry to see how we can support their options to resolve the evening service so the children can get home earlier