YP Letters: Give Maragret Thatcher credit for saving Settle to Carlisle railway

From: David Daniels, Crompton Avenue, Doncaster.

The Flying Scotsman passes over the viaduct at Dent - it was Margaret Thatcher's government which saved the Settle to Carlisle railway.

WHILE agreeing with the Rail Freight Group Mike Hogg’s assessment of the Department for Transport’s appalling decision in conection with investment (The Yorkshire Post, December 7), I do not see one of the problems being “Victorian Infrastructure”. On the contrary, I would say it is a lack of Victorian infrastucture, as by the middle of the last century, all ports and docks had extensive rail facilities – miles of siding and marshalling yards. The railway was then king of freight.

Every town and city had its own goods facilities for transferring from rail to road for local delivery. Come the 1960s and British Rail ripped all these out, encouraged by politicians of both parties who believed the only way forward was to build more and more roads.

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We are now suffering from 
the damage of those short-sighted decisions.

Ironically the only major politician of recent times to refuse the scrapping of a railway was Margaret Thatcher, no less, who on the advice of Michael Portillo, her then Transport Minister, refused BR permission to close the Settle to Carlisle Railway – now a major tourist and freight line.

It is something never mentioned by those who demonise the Iron Lady.