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Longer rail franchises needed to roll back Beeching - Liberal Democrats

November 11, 2008 12:00 AM

Michael Mullaney, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Campaigner for Bosworth has told local Liberal Democrats of his support for plans to roll back the Beeching years that did so much damage to the railways

The Liberal Democrats have published a list of railway lines and stations to be reopened in a reversal of the Beeching rail cuts in return for longer franchises for train operating companies.

The Liberal Democrats have proposed major reform of the current short rail franchise system to grant 30 year franchises with five year service quality checks.

In return, train companies would be required to deliver major improvements to their network including re-opening railway lines closed under Beeching.

Commenting, Bosworth Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman Michael Mullaney said

"If we are to escape cattle truck Britain our railways need investment. This Government is content to continue to pour money into road expansion schemes but is cutting back on the railways.

"By replacing current short franchises the Government would be in a position to demand that, in return, train companies deliver the new railway lines, stations and improvements that are so urgently needed.

"I am glad that the Liberal Democrat plan to improve our railways includes a number of key improvements in our region.

"Passengers are paying more and more every year for rail travel but are rewarded with overcrowded carriages and delays. The Government has an opportunity to change this."