The Government has been accused of ignoring the South West as part of its HS2 high-speed rail link investment, creating a 'Cinderella region' which routinely misses out on crucial cash.
Rail users’ groups in the far West of England have long said their transport links with London are much-maligned, and have been neglected by successive governments.
MEP Giles Chichester has taken up their case and, in an open letter, criticised the decision not to include the South West in the £32.7 billion HS2 plans.
Last month, Prime Minister David Cameron said extending the already-planned London to Birmingham HS2 line as far as Manchester and Leeds would “spread wealth and prosperity” around the country.
But Mr Chichester said: “The good people of Leeds and Manchester must be experiencing a warm glow now they know the Government is to lavish more than £30 billion of investment on speeding up their journeys to London through the (HS2) rail link. It must be nice to be so loved.
“The journey between London and the farther reaches of the Westcountry is just as long and just as important to our economy.