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11:00 - 28 February 2006
A Top Bristol cabinet councillor has insisted that the Severn Beach rail line is not under threat - despite the city council axing a 136,000 subsidy to help pay for hourly train services. Lib Dem Cabinet Councillor Dennis Brown, who is in charge of the council's transport department, said he supported the Severn Beach line and talks would be held on running half-hourly trains during busy times. He added: "We don't pay the subsidy anymore because First Great Western picks up the bill."

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So the Lib-Dems are taking money that was being spent on rail services in the region, and using it to increase the number of vehicles on the road. Pure genius. No wonder the city is gridlocked when we have a planning department that runs itself this way.
Peter Lawson, Lockleaze

LIB DEMS appear to be taking a great hatchet to Bristol's transport infrastructure. Get rid of them quick before they do any more lasting damage. Trying to sell the airport for a pittance, trying to sell the docks (ditto) for a pittance, and now all but closing a valued local railway line. Are they trying to bankrupt Bristol and destroy the environment while they're at it? If this line is closed by this Lib Dem axe work they will be seriously prejudicing the regeneration of e.g. Sea Mills, Shirhampton and Avonmouth and cutting off a vital lifeline to the city centre for working people. I used this line every day for two years as a sixth former thirty years ago. And here in Manchester - which is threatened with a Lib Dem take over - people will be amazed that a line equivalent to one third of the upcoming network investment in our Metro could be closed for the sake of 100,000. Isn't this around the same figure they voted themselves in extra allowances when they first got their nose in the trough? Well done to the RMT and to Kerry McCarthy MP for leading the fight against this Let Down short termism.
Chris Paul, Manchester

Cllr. Dennis Brown states that the money that formerly went to the Severn Beach line would be used for community bus services. Does this mean there will be more incarnations of the UsBus running round; barely used by anyone and with the main purpose of shifting air molecules round inner city Bristol. I'd much sooner have a decent, more frequent train service running on the Severn Beach line and all local services instead.
Steve Woods, Easton

Yet another example of Lib-dem hypocrisy when it comes to Green issues. Their transport policy says "Britain?s railways are essential to any realistic plans to reduce congestion and the impact of vehicle emissions on climate change." "A modern railway with improved capacity and service is vital if we are to provide the public with the incentive to move out of their cars and on to the railways." Except, of course, if it's in Bristol, where they're about to scrap the subsidy that could have made it happen!
Pete, Stockwood

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