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Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has written to the transport secretary to ask him to support investment in the Island Line, including work to improve Ryde Pier.

In his letter to Chris Grayling, Bob also said plans for 1970s rolling stock to replace the 80-year-old former tube carriages now in service was also deserving of government support because it was a modest request.

In his letter, Bob said:

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“I am asking for our railway to secure the long overdue investment it needs and deserves, as other parts of the country are already set to enjoy.

“With a decision on the Island Line investment option (Priced Option) due by the end of 2018, I am now seeking your reassurance that the Government remains committed to supporting these long-overdue improvements.

“I am aware that the South Western Railway proposals have been worked up in partnership with the Department for Transport, and it is clear that these plans represent the best prospect of securing improvements in a timely, cost-effective and practical manner.

“These plans – including the new passing loop at Brading to enable half-hourly services and essential repairs and renewals to the track addressing the poor ride quality – are strongly supported by my constituents, local councillors and other key stakeholders. We all want to see the investment take place without further delay, not least because of the very poor state of the current rolling stock.”

However, Bob said that the investment in Ryde Pier was not part of the Priced Option and he sought an assurance through the minister that Network Rail would invest money.

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He continued:

“This final stretch of the railway (from Ryde Esplanade to Ryde Pier Head) provides the seamless connectivity to the mainland (and the rest of the rail network), for commuters, patients and visitors, among others.

“I would ask you to ensure that Network Rail allocates the necessary level of capital investment to ensure that the operation of trains on this stretch of the route continues into the long-term”.

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