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Tory 'hypocrisy' over trains

Labour have accused a Conservative transport minister of "hypocrisy" over the shortage of train services today.

Only a handful of lines will be providing services, and many of those which are running are serving airports and the Channel Tunnel, leaving much of the country without trains.

Labour said rail minister Stephen Hammond regularly attacked their ministers when they were in power before 2010 over the absence of Boxing Day services, but had done little to improve matters since joining the Department for Transport in 2012.

As shadow transport secretary in 2008, Mr Hammond called for an increase in rail services on December 26, arguing that "Boxing Day can hardly be seen as a quiet period" for travel because of the many sporting fixtures taking place.

But Labour said that on the fourth Boxing Day since the coalition Government took office, most train operators were running no service at all.

Mr Hammond said: "The Government has taken steps to ensure Boxing Day services run between London St Pancras and Ashford International this year. I want to work with the industry to see what further steps can be taken to meet demand for the benefit of passengers."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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