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Transport minister Patrick McLoughlin visits Craven
9:00am Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
The Government’s transport boss arrived by train at Settle station on Thursday to discuss transport issues in Craven with councillors, community rail organisations and representative of transport pressure groups.
Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, arrived at a time when North Yorkshire County Council is considering slashing £1.1m from its transport subsidy.
This could see the withdrawal of a number of bus routes, especially those which are less used. The Skipton to Harrogate service has already been cut.
Mr McLoughlin was met at the station by County Councillor Patrick Mulligan, who said he was planning to write to the Minister about the proposed cuts.
“The county will be consulting and I urge people to get involved. People should make their voices heard if they want to make a difference,” he said.
Coun Mulligan joined the Minister at the meeting in Victoria Hall where Mr McLoughlin spoke to Peter Charlesworth, chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the authority’s director of park services, Kathryn Beardmore.
They discussed general transport issues, particularly the management of the number of visitors expected to next year’s Tour de France.
“It was a very useful meeting,” said Mr Charlesworth.
The Minister also met Dales and Bowland Com-munity Interest Company boss Dr Colin Speakman and chairman Professor Chris Nash, and Gerald Townson, chairman of the Friends of Bentham Station.
Before the meeting the Minister said: “I’m here to speak about traffic issues and there is nothing better than to get out into the country to speak to people at a local level about the problems. It’s an opportunity to talk about bus and train services.
“We are in a time of budget restraint and don’t enjoy making reductions in expenditure. We have kept the older person’s concession but we must have services for them to use.”
He said there had been a huge amount of road maintenance and massive injection in the railways which had seen an increase from 7.5m journeys to 1.5bn journeys in 15 years.
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