The ideas in the Strategic Plan to combat overcrowding on train services are welcome and a fresh look at fares too.

In fact there are many interesting ideas contained in the plans and many missed opportunities as well. For instance, there is no mention of the crucial scheme to create on largely existing track an East-West rail link through Ipswich, Norwich, Cambridge, Bedford, Milton, Keynes and Oxford. Just a few short “missing links” need attention.

Nor is there any mention of an eastward link from Stansted airport, another vital necessity.

On the existing network, we applaud measures to get to grips with fares, strikes, delays, infrastructure problems.

We need reliable, comfortable, no overcrowding and a seat for all our rail journeys.

But we still need strong leadership from the Government to sort out the Railtrack situation and it needs to be solved quickly. Railfuture supports the idea of a not-for-profit company.

Train operating companies are unable to deliver the service needed until Railtrack is reorganised in some new form. Delays here will also delay the Implementation of future SRA plans.

If we are to see the SRA plans fulfilled then we must re educate all politicians from which ever party, to continue to think long-term about our railways. There has been too much short termism in the past. Since privatisation we have seen passenger growth of 30% and rail freight has increased too.

If the rail targets set by government are to be achieved then track capacity must be expanded to improve reliability of rail services, by reinstating track rationalised by British Rail, reopening of former rail routes where possible or even completely new routes. There is tremendous opportunity to increase rail use.

People want to travel by rail and we can move more freight by rail. We need to see the Government take steps together with the SRA to restore passenger confidence immediately.

More info: Peter Lawrence, chairman, Railfuture. 01603 743446 (anytime before 21.00 hrs). If no answer, then try - Mobile 0788 419 4510. E-mail

Dr Michael Caton - Railfuture president Telephone 01531 635036 (not after 21.30)