Rail cuts could harm recovery

Steve Dinneen
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THE British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned business secretary Vince Cable that rash cuts to the rail network could harm the economic recovery.

The strongly-worded letter, also sent to transport secretary Philip Hammond, said cuts to the transport network would strangle growth in the private sector and have a knock-on effect on the rest of the economy.

BCC director-general David Frost said rail transport is essential for supporting the future of the UK economy. He said: “In tackling the deficit, the government must be careful not to damage future growth and prosperity.

“Government must support initiatives that enable the free and easy movement of people and goods.”

Frost singled out three projects which he claimed should not be affected at all by the swingeing spending cuts. These were the Northern Hub scheme, designed to drastically increase the number of trains running in the north of England; the electrification of the rail network; and the addition of extra rail carriages to increase passenger numbers.