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STRATHCLYDE RAIL DEAL THREATENED BY REVIEW FEARS

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Uncertainties over local government reorganisation are scuppering Strathclyde RC's attempt to agree a£36 million l...
Uncertainties over local government reorganisation are scuppering Strathclyde RC's attempt to agree a £36 million leasing deal for 21 new passenger trains.

A meeting this week with government ministers from the Scottish Office and the Department of Transport failed to resolve the region's year long attempt at an agreement with finance company Lombard North Central. Strathclyde says the new trains are vital to provide a full service on two new lines which are currently having to use stock dating from the 1950s.

Lombard has argued it cannot go ahead with the deal without a government guarantee. The new unitary authorities taking control of the region's passenger transport executive after reorganisation would be under no obligation to continue the arrangement, it fears.

The Scottish Office said it was 'very keen' for the deal to proceed and was anxious to hold a further meeting between itself, Lombard, Strathclyde and the DoT. A spokesman said any agreements entered into by Strathclyde and its PTE would be transferred to its successors and the passenger transport authority.
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