Can campaigners save Bristol's railways?
23 Feb 2006 21:38 GMT
Bristol threatens suburban rail sell-off Cat Hobbs reports on Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways' attempts to block the councils' sell off of local rail, despite them being presented with a 3,000 signature petition: The Partnership responded last week with a letter describing what they've done for local rail since the 1970's. The campaigners are disappointed because the Partnership's response fails to deal with the specific demands made in the petition. At Friday's meeting they will argue that meeting those demands requires the local authorities to maintain current subsidies. Bristol City Council plan to cut the annual subsidy of £134,000 to the Severn Beach line...First have stated that they could provide a half hourly service if the subsidy were kept. The cuts mean that services will be hourly rather than half hourly. Rail campaigners are asking the councillors concerned to reconsider cutting the subsidies in forthcoming budget meetings. There are also concerns that without these subsidies, First will need to raise the fares on local trains more... Cat notes a victory in the campaign: Councillors voted yesterday to maintain £90,000 rail subsidy needed for Bath-Filton Abbey Wood line. They hope that Bristol City Council will now follow suit and vote against their budget on Tuesday 28th February. The proposed BCC budget includes a cut to the £134,000 subsidy which could provide half-hourly services on the Severn Beach line. Campaigners will be lobbying councillors, both by email before the event and at 1.30pm on Tuesday outside the Council House. Write to your councillor to oppose the cut. Go to http://www.bristol-city.gov.uk/ccm/content/Council-Democracy/Elected-Representatives/councillor-finder.en to find out who your councillor is. | Rail campaigners call on councils to maintain subsidies | South Gloucestershire Council keep rail subsidy! | Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways |< a href="http://www.portisheadrailwaygroup.org/">Portishead Rail Action | attachments/feb2006/s_beach_1.jpg