A faster service on lines between Weymouth and London is 'not worth it', councillors heard.

Dorset County Council's cabinet met yesterday to discuss the future of Weymouth's rail services and the proposed timetable changes to services from December 2018.

As reported, DCC has been contacted as a key stakeholder by South Western Railways’ (SWR) to provide a response as part of their consultation.

SWR have proposed to run two trains per hour off peak from Weymouth – one fast direct to London Waterloo, the other stopping at all stations to Portsmouth - making the journey up to 12 minutes faster.

However, councillors at yesterday's meeting raised concerns over trains not stopping at nine stations including including Upwey, Moreton, Holton Heath and Hamworthy.

Cabinet member, Cllr Peter Whalf, said: "The 12 minute difference is nor here or there. I used to commute from Wool to London years ago and back then the times were extended because of passenger usage. Now we are taking steps back and decreasing times.

"A lot of councils have been extremely critical of this timetable proposal - yet there is no mention of that in the report.

"Purbeck District Council and West Dorset District Council are looking at putting 2,000 more homes in Moreton and Crossways over the next few years. The usage of trains is going to increase quite dramatically because of the amount of houses being built.

"This report is inappropriate because it does not reflect the deep concerns of the other councils.

"If we are going to one authority we need to be clear of what the districts are doing – we need to listen to them."

Chairing the meeting, Cllr Rebecca Knox agreed. She said: "We need more cooperation [between the councils] when it comes to Dorset-wide initiatives. We need to be acting as one organisation on these matters."

Cllr Roy Kayes told cabinet members that whilst she was at another meeting earlier this week, the outcome was that the 12 minute reduction was "not worth it" and residents felt it was more important that the train should stop at Moreton and Crossways in particular.

Cabinet members agreed that faster journey times to London should be included in the Local Transport Plan 3 and supported a trial seasonal summer service between Waterloo and Weymouth via Gillingham, Yeovil and Maiden Newton.

However an additional recommendation read that directors and portfolio holders positively engage with other councils to hear any concerns.

A public meeting will be held tonight at the Safewise Centre on Radipole Lane from 7pm to discuss the SWR timetable changes.

Rail passengers now have until December 22 to voice their opinions on the planned timetable changes.