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Railwatch 086 - November 2000

Bring back the trains

Plans to put buses on the disused Luton-Dunstable line have been condemned as the worst of both worlds.

An expensive, glossy exhibition aimed at selling the idea of a busway for the line was also condemned as a waste of money by Friends of the Earth. "The stand was manned by junior consultants who cannot answer searching questions", said David Oakley-Hill.

"Luton Council has used public money to produce an exhibition without substance that does not give fair choices. There are perfectly good rail tracks between Luton and Dunstable. A tram or train would be faster, and could be running in two years. We wouldn't have a busway before 2006."

Luton FoE has drawn up a check list for visitors Key reasons why a busway is the wrong option and is urging people to make written comments to the council. "There is no strategic thinking, and consultants admit they were only asked to work on a local busway", said David. "This would not help the 40,000 people who go in and out of the area regularly.

"A fast train or tram service linking Luton, Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard on the West Coast main line would give rail access to many towns you can now only reach by car, and allow commuters from Dunstable to London to leave their cars at home or at a park and ride."

"The council should produce fair comparisons of rail, tram and bus. But sadly, they have become obsessed with a busway. "Thousands of people want the railway reopened. Virtually no one wants a busway."

In a local referendum, 80% voted in favour of a rail link.

If you want to receive Key reasons why a busway is the wrong option, contact David Oakley-Hill on 01582 724257 or email doh@mcmail.com.

Note: contact details (postal and email addresses, along with telephone numbers) in old editions of Railwatch out of date.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