Dean: Pandemic not an excuse to cut public transport

Following the decision by Southern Rail to make reductions the to train services to London Bridge permanent, Lib Dem spokesperson Bobby Dean hit out at the Government for failing to protect key services from long-term cuts during the pandemic.

Train services on many lines were reduced during the pandemic due to the fall in demand when people stayed at home. However, while some services are now returning back to normal, other service cuts like those to London Bridge are now being made permanent.

The Government was supposed to provide enough funding to rail companies to ensure that any impact from the pandemic was temporary. Now with Southern Rail's decision to make these cuts permanent, questions are being raised about whether financial support was sufficient.

The Government's controversial funding agreement for Transport for London has already seen the proposed tram extensions to Sutton cancelled. Now local residents look set to face further disappointment as many return to work.

Bobby Dean, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Carshalton & Wallington, said:

"Hackbridge is my local station and I know local residents will be relieved to hear that Thameslink trains will be restored to four trains per hour. But we still have a long way to go before public transport serves the needs of our local community.

"Sutton borough has no tube station, the proposed tram extension has been cancelled and new timetable proposals will see a Covid-related reduction of services to London Bridge made permanent. This simply isn't good enough.

"The Conservative Government must not use the pandemic as an excuse to make devastating cuts to public transport. Good public transport links are key to our economic recovery and to tackling climate change. They must invest in the future of our borough."

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