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Last Updated: Friday, 24 February 2006, 11:13 GMT
Rail commuter service maintained
Rail campaigners are celebrating a decision to continue to fund a half-hourly rail service between Bath and Filton Abbey Wood.

South Gloucestershire Council voted to maintain the annual subsidy of 90,000 at the budget meeting on Wednesday.

"We would like to congratulate the council on their good judgement and foresight," said Cat Hobbs, of Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways (FOSBR).

Campaigners also hope to stop a subsidy being cut from the Severn Beach Line.

A petition of 3,000 names was due to be handed in to a meeting of the West of England Partnership on Friday calling for current subsidies to be renewed and for more frequent rail services.

Tackling congestion

It specifically asks Bristol City Council to maintain an annual subsidy of 134,000 to the Severn Beach line.

"Cuts mean that services will be hourly rather than half hourly," said Ms Hobbs.

"We're also concerned that without these subsidies, fares on local trains will be raised."

FOSBR will also call on Bath and North East Somerset Council to rethink subsidy cuts in its proposed budget which would mean the withdrawal of 11 bus routes in the Peasedown/Keynsham/Whitchurch area.

Campaigners says maintaining the subsidies will help the Partnership achieve its own aims, put forward in the Joint Local Transport Plan (JLTP) which calls for half-hourly services throughout the day.

"The JLTP, devised by the four councils of the Partnership, says 'central to tackling congestion is providing viable alternatives to the car. Alternatives must be strongly promoted to make them more attractive than the private car,'" said Ms Hobbs.

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