Local MPs Theresa May and Boris Johnson have spoken out against plans to reclassify the Henley – Twyford branch line as a ‘community railway’.
“The Strategic Rail Authority has plans to hive off about 12.5% of the national network, separating local services from the main network and reclassifying them as ‘community railways’. They claim that this would not be done according to one model but would be developed in line with local needs. They have included the Henley – Twyford line as a proposed community rail line.
The idea of community rail may work for some train lines but not for the Henley – Twyford line. The Government is trying to hive off local lines and will let services deteriorate as a result. We have already seen with the recent First Great Western proposals how hard we have to battle just to keep our local services. We don’t want to see the line to Henley downgraded – it’s too important for local commuters.”
We fear that ‘community railways’ might be a smokescreen for hiving off these lines, spending less on maintenance and improvements, and generally forgetting them thus making closure in future easier.”