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Railwatch 071 - April 1997

I agree with you entirely

When our Reopenings Committee sent out our Bring Back the Tracksleaflet to key people in the transport world, they carefully noted the replies - and lack of them. Here is a selection:

Secretary of State for Transport, and Minister for RailwaysCombined reply from Department of Transport saying it is up to individual local authorities to how they meet transport needs. Schemes can be considered for a grant if there are significant benefits to non-users (e.g. reducing traffic congestion) and where total cost cannot be recovered from revenue.

Secretary of State for the Environment Identical letter to above.

Shadow Transport Secretary I do appreciate the importance of safeguarding disused parts of the rail network which have potential for reopening.

David Chidgey Lib-Dem Transport Spokesman We wish to see railways much more extensively used. We aim to see local and regional government playing a leading role in opening new stations and lines.

Peter Snape Labour MP The restoration of the East-West links is essential and the RDS campaign is worthy of full support. I will do what I can when Parliament resumes.

OPRAFWill shortly be meeting relevant bodies including Railtrack and Regulator to discuss RDS-proposed East-West rail link which will require user benefits to be included in cost-benefit analysis.

Rail Regulator My powers essentially apply to operational facilities not to closed lines. I recognise that not only is it desirable for the existing railway to be better but also that the railway should develop.

ASLEFMy society certainly supports your efforts, and if you have any campaigns in specific locations I would encourage support of representatives in the areas.

Transport 2000 I think this is a really good leaflet and congratulate you on it.

SustransWe support integrated sustainable transport system. Development of cycleways along disused railways is a good way to protect these important transport corridors. Sustrans recently proposed Cambridge-St Ives cycleway leaving space for future reinstatement of railway.

Railtrack LNE Railtrack is in business to enhance the network, subject to commercial objectives. Happy to explore any potential reopening where clear business case or in partnership with other funding authorities who can capture social benefits not available to Railtrack.

Railtrack Midlands Happy to see network expanded, but can only become involved if schemes financially viable. Requires robust demand and significant external benefits warranting grant aid.

Railtrack Commercial DirectorWe share your aspiration to see many road journeys transferred to rail where practical.

Great Eastern Operators are bidding for franchises based on existing services and would not operate additional services without OPRAF support.

South Wales and WestKey is likely to be partnerships with local authorities.

Thames TrainsKeen to develop public transport, particularly rail.

David Bertram CRUCC I fully agree with overall objective for an improved railway network to provide answers to transport problems. I will use whatever influences there are to progress the greater use of rail.

RUCC NE EnglandSupportive of any plans to expand network.

RUCC Midlands Does not actively campaign for reopening of closed lines.

Among those who have not yet replied are Railtrack chairman Sir Robert Horton, the Rail Maritime and Transport Union, English, Welsh and Scottish Railways chairman Ed Burkhardt, the BR Property Board, and the rail user consultative committees for Scotland, NW England and East Anglia.

Note: contact details (postal and email addresses, along with telephone numbers) in old editions of Railwatch out of date. Click CONTACT US for latest contact details.

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