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Newbury commuters criticise train-cut plans


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COMMUTERS at Newbury station have criticised First Great Western for proposing cuts to services in their new timetable.
A significant change is the removal of a post-midnight train from Reading to Newbury. Under the proposals, the last train will depart at 11pm rather than 12.15am.
Customers are concerned about the effect the changes will have on their lifestyles. One man, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “In an age where the government is trying to encourage increased use of public transport, it is astonishing that a train operator wants to reduce late-night services.
“With these proposals it would be impossible for anyone from West Berkshire to go out for the evening in Reading or London and return by public transport.”
The managing director of First Great Western, Alison Forster, said the company were looking to encourage debate over the schedule. She said: “This is a real opportunity for the communities we serve to view the detail of the timetable at the earliest possible stage and to have their say.”
Under the draft schedule, services to Great Bedwyn, Kintbury and Pewsey will be cut by up to 50%.
Commuters are concerned they may be forced to leave earlier and return later, even though the company insists they are only cutting off-peak services.
Newburytoday recently reported on Great Bedwyn residents' petition against the plans.
The timetable is due to take effect in December.

Don't forget to read the Newbury Weekly News — Berkshire's largest–selling local newspaper — out each Thursday morning.

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