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ADC BLAMES GRANT CUTS FOR PLANS TO SLASH RURAL RAIL SERVICES

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Government cash cuts are to blame for the threat by rail bosses to axe scores of train services in rural England an...
Government cash cuts are to blame for the threat by rail bosses to axe scores of train services in rural England and Wales this autumn, says the Association of District Councils.

The ADC says that concerned districts have sent it details of service cuts included in October timetable changes planned by British Rail with rural weekend passenger trains most at risk.

The loss of essential rail services will leave rural communities even more isolated, says the association. It is now calling for a meeting with Transport Minister Roger Freeman to urge the government to rethink its decision to cut the Public Service Obligation grant which helps fund the railways.

BR has told the ADC that the 20% cut in PSO for 1993/94 has forced it to 'concentrate resources and assets on services which earn most revenue'.

Paul Hannon (Lib Dem Newbury), the ADC's planning and transport chairman, called the proposed service cuts 'disturbing'. He also pointed to 'pre-privatisation tinkering' by BR manages, delayed reaction to the economic recession and rolling stock shortages caused by lack of funds for renewal.
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