Tuesday, April 20, 1999 Published at 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
Train operators defend cuts
Atoc says some services have not attracted enough passengers
Train operators will be cutting rural services this summer because they want to maximise income from busier routes. BBC News Online spoke to representatives from both sides of the argument.
The Association of Train Operating Companies said in a statement: "Train operators understand and sympathise with those people who depend on local railways but are affected in those few instances where services have been reduced.
"Train operators want to run rural railways. They will run the extensive system of services set out in the Passenger Service Requirement - a guaranteed level of service.
"These were agreed in consultation with local authorities at the time of franchising.
"Train companies will also try to find ways to run extra services using innovative service patterns and marketing to attract passengers.
'More services running'
"Many of these initiatives have been successful, particularly the long distance semi-rural and cross-country services - which play to the strength of the train.
"However, in some instances the extra services have not attracted enough passengers and are being withdrawn.
"In total, we are running 1,000 more trains across the network than we were before, and we are running more cross-country, rural and semi-rural trains, taken as a whole, that we were before.
"In fact, in the last three years, one quarter of our increase in total services of 1,000 trains a day are on rural, semi-rural and cross-country lines (262 out of 1,000 plus).
"In the last year, a third of the increase in total services were on rural, semi-rural and cross-country lines (207 out of 705)."