Reforms off track

ALL new rail franchises have seen improvements to services with increased frequencies, longer trains and improved catering. The Pictogram (your report, 22 January) is somewhat inaccurate. The services to both Newcastle and York are already three every two hours. There is no betterment.

Why then does the Westminster Transport Secretary, Lord Adonis, try and pull the wool over Scots' eyes by apparently reciting a lot of worthless figures? No-one disputes that Virgin now operates a reliable service from Glasgow to Euston. Ticket sales, however, show that there are a significant number of west of Scotland folk who travel on the ECML via Doncaster or Peterborough, as do many from all along the Scottish east coast.

Travellers want later services from Kings Cross at 18:30, 19:00 and 19:30 hours every day to Edinburgh with a reliable trolley service. Two extra standard class coaches would be much appreciated and ease peaktime overcrowding. There is, also, no mention of reinstating the late evening service to Newcastle, which offered good connections to Manchester airport. The rejigged services are more of an attempt to provide the Northumbrian passenger with a faster service to London at the expense of the Scot. It is a proposal for cuts, as Guy Dangerfield of the rail consumer watchdog Passenger Focus said.

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COLIN C MACLEAN

Hillpark Avenue

Edinburgh