Letter: Rail policy shows tunnel vision

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THE DECISION not to modernise the West Coast Main Line ('Glasgow may lose its main rail link', 9 August) further confirms this Government's intention to inflict a third-rate rail system on Britain.

On top of the Government's failure to endorse BR's wish to electrify the Midland InterCity route to Sheffield and to expand Thameslink (not to mention the fiasco surrounding the fast link to the Channel tunnel) this will ensure that Britain becomes the railway backwater of Europe.

A transport minister who had any sort of economic vision, far from downgrading lines north of Preston, would invest so as to enhance the business and tourist fortunes of the likes of Lancaster, Carnforth, Penrith, Carlisle, Dumfries and Glasgow itself.

Rail customers seek, quite rightly, fast, efficient and affordable services. The Government's policy, however, will simply lead to decline and decay, a situation aided and abetted by an expensive and irrelevant exercise in privatisation.

Anthony J Walker

Belmont, Durham