SIR - Local rail users were welcomed into the New Year by the news that their train tickets had increased in cost by 2.7 per cent.

Curiously in Germany the fares are going in exactly the opposite direction despite already being lower and for a more efficient service. The German government has chosen to cut the rate of VAT on train travel from 19 per cent to 7 per cent with the result that longer distance fares have reduced by 10 per cent.

Their reason for doing this was that increased use of trains reduces pressure on the roads and on the environment thus speeding journey times and helping to reduce climate problems at the same time. Given the increased frequency and severity of local flooding and the extent of the Australian fires that can only be helpful.

Could it just possibly be that the German government is a touch more far sighted than our own national government?

Councillor Andy Brown

Main Street