UK

Boxing Day Train Shutdown Sees Labour Tory Fingerpointing

26/12/2014 11:35 GMT | Updated 07/01/2015 15:59 GMT

Labour has accused the Conservatives of allowing a near shutdown of Boxing Day rail services despite the Tories bemoaning the lack of December 26 trains when they were in opposition.

Chiltern Railways is one of a very few train companies offering services today. The Southern, Southeastern and First Great Western companies are also running some services, while there is a reduced Gatwick Express service.

Labour said that in opposition in 2008 and 2009, the Conservatives repeatedly complained about a lack of rail services on Boxing Day, saying that it showed that Labour did not have the "interest of the travelling public at heart".

empty station

Hope you haven't got any long journeys planned for today...

Shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher said today: "The travelling public are facing misery on Boxing Day as yet again ministers have allowed the rail network to shut down for the day.

"Before the last general election, the Tories repeatedly criticised the lack of rail services on Boxing Day. But it is clear they have done absolutely nothing about it in government.

"Yet again, this Tory-led government has been shown to be all talk and no action."

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "Deciding the level of service on specific days is a matter for train operators. But we know passengers want to travel on Boxing Day, and that's why we have worked with the rail industry to ensure there are limited services on some franchises on that day.

"Network Rail and train companies have ensured that a large part of the railway will remain open during the Christmas/New Year period and alternative routes are provided where lines are closed for essential engineering work, and that these are communicated properly to the public."