Letter: On the right track for a rail service

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The Independent Online
From Mr Brian Cox

Sir: I read Christian Wolmar's article ("Bus company wins first rail franchise", 6 December) with interest and some indignation.

Should Stagecoach be successful in winning the South West Trains (or any other) franchise, the one thing you can be sure of is that we will not be planning to reduce services.

Our track record in our bus business is one of continued expansion, not contraction of services, with fare increases minimised as far as possible and certainly well under the level imposed by British Rail in recent years, notwithstanding the Chancellor's imposition of fuel duty on bus services in the past three Budgets.

As Mr Wolmar states, we have just ordered 1,100 new buses (for delivery in the next 16 months) - hardly signifying an intention to cut services.

Your readers should be aware that the rail privatisation process contains a number of important safeguards for passengers. Fears of Stagecoach imposing service reductions or bus substitutions are entirely misplaced.

Yours faithfully,

Brian Cox

Executive Director

Stagecoach Holdings plc

Lewes, East Sussex