RAIL services at some of North Yorkshire's “little-used” stations are under threat under new Government plans.
Ministers are proposing cutting the number of trains that serve 67 stops with “particularly low levels of use”, when a new contract is brought in for a private operator, including ten in North Yorkshire,
Stations that attract fewer than ten passengers a day on average include Ruswarp, Battersby and Kildale.
The proposal is included in plans for the new Northern Rail and Trans-Pennine franchises, which are due to be awarded late next year and to start in February 2016.
A consultation for the franchise seeks support for improving the quality of the trains “at the expense of some reduction in lightly used services”.
The department for transport (DfT) has vowed that 30-year-old ‘Pacer’ trains – condemned as “cattle trucks” by critics – will finally be replaced, as part of the new contract.
The DfT has already warned that rail fares may have to soar to pay for the new trains, regardless of whether some services are culled at less popular stations.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin insisted that no decisions have yet been taken on the proposals in the document, arguing it was normal to seek views in a consultation.