Ahead of the 60-hour shutdown of Britain’s rail network over the Christmas period, the Liberal Democrats have released research which reveals that services run on Christmas Day in every other country in Europe apart from the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
14 of the 17 countries surveyed run near to normal services. Historical figures reveal that up until the mid-1960s, when cuts began to be made, train services did run on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Lib Dem Transport Spokesman Alistair Carmichael MP said:
Shutting down our rail network will mean than we are either shunting passengers off trains and into cars, trapping people away from home for several days or preventing people taking trips to visit family and friends in the first place. It is in direct opposition to the Government’s stated aims of reducing carbon emissions, promoting social mobility, and reducing drink driving. In the age of steam trains in the 1950s, when passenger numbers were comparable with today, services did run at Christmas. In that aspect alone, a return to the steam age would be welcome.