I WOULD like to comment on your story in last Tuesday’s Oxford Mail on the prospect of a new high speed rail service from Bristol via Swindon, Grove and Oxford possibly to Milton Keynes.

I would like to remind readers that myself and my fellow Liberal Democrat Councillor John Howson have been calling for this for years. We have had several motions to that effect passed by both the Vale of white Horse District Council and Oxfordshire County Council. Now is the time for action.

In this context it is unfortunate to say the least that HM Government has seen fit to pause the electrification of the line from Didcot to Oxford and decreed that the reopened line to Milton Keynes will not be electrified. What folly!

This is compounded by the fact that 45 brand new electric units which are state-of-the-art with full air conditioning, wifi etc have just been delivered. Their 100mph capability would be been most useful for the proposed service.

At the moment because of the lack of a catenary six of them are stored at Didcot and another two at Old Oak Common near London, what a stupid waste. You could not make it up and shows above all that the current government simply does not understand railways.

Councillor Bob Johnson 

Lib Dem, Kennington and Radley, Oxfordshire County Council