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11:00 - 07 February 2006
A Pressure group has gathered support from more than 2,000 people in its attempt to improve rail services in the Bristol area. Members of Friends Of Suburban Bristol Railways (FOSBR) handed over the petition of more than 2,000 names to the West of England Partnership at the Council House yesterday.

The group wants the partnership to fully support rail services in the Joint Local Transport Plan.

They gathered names on trains in the area over a 10-day period and got more support while at the Council House.

FOSBR wants the Government and local authorities in the area to make the most of Bristol's train network.

They see it as a sustainable transport option for the city and don't believe it will require much financial outlay as much of the network is already in place.

Campaigners who regularly use services in the area set up a base outside the Council House to encourage more people to support their petition.

FOSBR is calling for a half-hourly rail service on the Severn Beach line, and peak time trains to Stapleton Road, Lawrence Hill, Abbey Wood, Patchway, Keynsham, Parson St, Pilning and Bedminster stations.

They are also campaigning for new rail passenger services to Henbury, Portishead, Pill, Ashton and other local stations in the area and better connections to local, regional and national rail and bus services.

FOSBR member Lionel White said: "We are trying to promote the local rail system in Bristol.

"Gathering 2,000 signatures in just a few days shows that people are supporting us and would like to see more stations working in the area."

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I was brought up in Bristol during the 60's and even then the city was choked up during rush hours. It has a fine basic rail network - why not maximise it?
Alan Darby, Florida, USA

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