Re-open railway line in return for longer franchises - Howarth

November 10, 2008 2:27 PM

Cambridge MP David Howarth has backed his party's call for train operators to re-open the Cambridge to Oxford railway line in return for longer franchises.

The Liberal Democrats have proposed major reform of the current short rail franchise system.

They would grant 30 year franchises with five-year service quality checks. In return train companies would deliver major improvements to their network including re-opening lines.

Mr Howarth said: "This Government is content to continue to pour money into road expansion schemes but is cutting back on the railways.

"By replacing current short franchises the Government would be in a position to demand that, in return, train companies deliver the new railway lines, stations and improvements that are so urgently needed.

"Passengers are paying more and more every year for rail travel but are rewarded with overcrowded carriages and delays. The Government has an opportunity to change this."

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