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2000-03-30 ATO-001


Britain urgently needs more rail capacity - ATOC

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Association of Train Operating Companies

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Britain urgently needs more rail capacity - ATOC

30 March 2000
source ATOC
type Press release

With Britain's passenger railway at its busiest ever - at 38 billion passenger-km in 1999 and rising - the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) welcomes Railtrack's proposals to cope with steadily increasing demand.

"The country needs proper public transport - particularly more rail capacity," said George Muir, ATOC's Director General. "And we need it urgently.

"It is good for the economy, it helps improve quality of life, and it enables people without cars to get around."

Research undertaken jointly on behalf of ATOC and Railtrack forecasts passenger demand continuing to rise at around 5% a year from the current 50-year record high. Before 2010, passenger numbers could have doubled from 1994/95 when the privatisation process began.

"The system is already busier than ever in history, and it is encouraging to see train operators' ambitious plans emerging to provide additional capacity to meet demand and to provide a better service to more people.

"It is also good to see some actual work on the ground such as the West Coast main line upgrade and the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link," Mr Muir added.

"But the improvements identified by Railtrack are by no means all commercially fundable. We will play our part in the investment, but we look to Government to fund the social and environmental benefits - the reductions in congestion, atmospheric pollution and the NHS road casualty bill.

"Passenger train companies have consistently contributed £200m a year to the Treasury's coffers. We would now like to see that sum - and more - ploughed back into investment in the industry to the benefit of new and existing passengers."


For more information: ATOC press office 020 7904 3010

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-03-30 ATO-001


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