Letter: Rail freight network essential for trade

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your excellent leading article on the Government's proposals for British Rail raises a further question: will passengers with disabilities receive as good a service?

BR has, in recent years, made genuine efforts to enable its services to become accessible to people with disabilities. Although there are still problems, Arthritis Care has been grateful for these efforts and in particular for the way in which BR has been willing to listen to people with arthritis.

Will this all be swept away with privatisation? Do minimum services and quality standards cover people who cannot walk up steps, or jump over gaps? Are people in wheelchairs going to find themselves back in the guard's van? Some reassurances to people with disabilities about the terms of the sell-off would be most welcome.

Yours faithfully,

RICHARD GUTCH

Chief Executive

Arthritis Care

London, NW1

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