'Fire First Group' say Ealing Council

Planned service cuts a 'knee in the groin' for local residents

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For further information from Save Acton Mainline ( SAM ) Campaign: Call David Campbell Bannerman on 07960 793630 or email saveactonmainline@yahoo.co.uk or call John Gallagher on 020 8993 0017

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The full Council of the London Borough of Ealing has voted to call on the Government to take away First Group's Greater Western rail franchise if planned service cuts at Ealing rail stations Acton Main Line, Southall and Hanwell are not withdrawn. 

A Motion proposed by Councillor Tony Brown was debated on Tuesday 12th October, and all 3 Parties - Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat - put up motions condemning the cuts. These were combined into one composite motion, which was passed unanimously.

The Council will now write to the Government and its rail authorities making it clear that it feels that the timetable cuts are totally unacceptable and that if First Group proceeds with them, they should lose their franchise when it is renewed in 2006. 

First Group's First Great Western Link took over the local Ealing franchise from Thames Trains recently. They are planning to cut peak hour services in the new December timetable at 4 local London stations in half ( from 4 to 2 ): Acton Main Line, Southall, Hanwell ( all in Ealing ) and Hayes & Harlington ( in Hillingdon ). They are also planning to cut the last train from Paddington from 23.55 to 23.08, making late night travel impossible. 

Welcoming the motion, David Campbell Bannerman of 'Save Acton Mainline' commented: "The SAM Campaign welcomes this motion and congratulates Ealing Council and all 3 parties for working together to fight these crazy cuts." "Since First Group took over, services through Acton Main Line have degenerated. We've never known so many cancellations, delays and unreliability. Now First Great Western Link are planning massive cuts in peak services which are a knee in the groin for the local community. I congratulate Ealing Council for making it clear: if First Group proceed with these cuts, they should lose their franchise. There are many quality operators interested in the Greater Western franchise who could do a better job than First is doing. The message from Ealing Council is clear: Drop the cuts or we'll drop you !" 

October 20, 2004