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Rail delays soar under Labour, Lib Dem figures show

March 14, 2005 12:00 AM

Delays on Southern and Thameslink services are twice as common since Labour came to power, new analysis by the Liberal Democrats shows.

Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake says: "These figures will come as no surprise to long-suffering local rail passengers.

"Conservative privatisation left the railways in a mess, but Labour hasn't solved the problems. In fact they've got worse.

"When Labour came to power in 1997 9.3% of Southern services arrived late and 11.9% of Thameslink services. Now it is an astonishing 17.7% for Southern - almost a fifth of all services, and for Thameslink it's an even more astonishing 25.6% - more than a quarter of all services!

"Across Britain, rail passengers have lost more than 10,000 years of their lives on delayed trains since Labour came to office. Delays to passengers alone have cost the nation's economy dear, with a figure of around £1 billion over the seven years.

Every major network in the country has declined under Labour.

"Liberal Democrats would get the railways working again. We will streamline the system, with fewer, larger franchises given longer contracts in return for more investment and better services."

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