Diary - lobbying new rail franchisee

Into the Commons on our last day before my MP status is removed and I return once more to be the prospective parliamentary candidate for S Dorset. I had a pre-arranged and very important meeting with our new rail franchisee, FirstGroup, who'd taken the franchise off SW Trains. I met with the charming Mark Wilkins, the Stakeholder Lead, who I'd seen during the franchise bidding process, and his colleague Jane Lee, the Stakeholder Engagement Manager. I had several questions to put to them about services and of course routes and improved timings. The good news is that trains between Weymouth and Waterloo will be 14 minutes faster as from December 2018. Second, there will be a new, non-stop service between Weymouth and Portsmouth, with better connections to the fast service to Waterloo at Southampton. In addition, the whole fleet will have free Wi-Fi up to five times faster than today, charging points accessible from every seat, infotainment installed and real-time information. Thankfully, Sunday afternoon services will match weekdays on most routes. I pushed hard on even faster trains times via Salisbury and Yeovil Junction. The infrastructure work would be met by Network Rail and Mark was more than happy for the train company to promote my idea. Finally, I asked for new investment in Weymouth station itself. It feels and looks unloved and some improvements there, along with better connectivity to buses and taxis, would I know be hugely welcomed. It was a most useful meeting. I then worked through to 1800, clearing my desk as far as I could, before closing my office door for the last time in this Parliament.