A COMMITMENT by InterCity to show a profit is behind a controversial

decision to end its London to Stirling Motorail service.

The withdrawal of the summer service, described yesterday as a major

blow for tourism in the Stirling area, comes nearly a year after

InterCity lost its Government subsidy.

Under a special corporate plan, its aim is now to turn what was a loss

of #100m into a profitable enterprise by 1990.

A spokesman for ScotRail confirmed the service, which ran from May to

October, three days a week, was to be withdrawn for commercial reasons.

''InterCity receives no Government subsidy and the Stirling service

did not justify the heavy costs involved in a 'dedicated' service,'' he


Attacking the withdrawal, Councillor John Hendry, convener of Stirling

District Council and chairman of the local tourist board, said yesterday

the decision had been taken without consulting the council, local

tourist board, or business community, and that the council had been

given no advance warning.

The tourist board, he added, was now left with 150,000 recently

printed copies of its main brochure which advertise a service that will

not exist.

Mr Hendry, who is to seek a meeting with ScotRail on the matter, and

is to ask local Conservative MP Mr Michael Forsyth to intervene, also

claimed that when the west of England to Stirling Motorail service was

withdrawn five years ago, British Rail gave assurances about the

long-term future of the remaining London route.

''Despite all the assurances given when the council fought to save the

Motorail service in 1984, British Rail have not even had the courtesy to

inform us of their decision.''

Mr James Fraser, director of the Loch Lomond, Stirling, and Trossachs

Tourist Board, said yesterday the Motorail service had given the area an

edge over many other tourist destinations, and this would now be lost.

Many traders and hoteliers would be angry over the decision, he claimed.

''It's obvious they took the decision to close it months ago, yet they

have never consulted us or even informed us.''

ScotRail said the decision to withdraw the service had been notified

to the Transport Users' Consultative Committee for Scotland at the end

of last year.

It added that a new, daily, all the year around, Motorail service

would be introduced between Edinburgh and London, while InterCity would

continue to operate the overnight services between Aberdeen, Edinburgh,

Inverness and London, and the Edinburgh-Bristol service.