We must avoid swapping a fragmented railway for one run from Whitehall - Yorkshire Post letters

From: Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire.

Leeds Rail Station. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

PASSENGERS in the North of England have long experienced the impact of disjointed rail services which have failed to address their needs.

We must avoid swapping a fragmented railway for one run from Whitehall. I want to see a strong local voice in the way services are commissioned and run, which needs to be supported by the devolution of funding.

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I’m already moving forward with my commitment to bring bus services into public control and we need to ensure they are joined up with rail, cycling, walking and our new mass transit system to deliver for our communities.

Alongside reform of the way rail services are run, we need significant investment to increase capacity on our network to deliver the regular and reliable service needed to attract people out of their cars and onto public transport as we tackle the climate emergency.

From: Robert Colvile, Director, Centre for Policy Studies.

THE Government is right to pursue more flexible ticketing policies, especially in the light of the pandemic. However, the commitment to ‘new opportunities for innovators’ must include not only preserving but if possible expanding scope for competition within the system.

In particular, there have been alarming suggestions that the Government will seek to eliminate ‘duplication’ in terms of open access competition on trunk lines, a policy suggested by the Centre for Policy Studies and endorsed by a Competition and Markets Authority investigation as resulting in lower costs and higher quality services for consumers and taxpayers alike.

Overall, Britain’s railways have improved dramatically since privatisation – now is not the time to take a retrograde step.

From: Canon Michael Storey, Healey Wood Road, Brighouse.

I’M pleased to be aware that the Mayors of West Yorkshire South Yorkshire and London are working together (The Yorkshire Post, May 19 and 20). Perhaps they could persuade the local councils to “level” some roads – i.e. the many which are more “pot-hole” than road!