PUBLIC transport remains one of the keys to keeping communities alive.
Trains and buses are crucial both for those who live in our villages and those who want to visit and enjoy what the area has to offer.
Residents use the trains to commute to work or to school and college, to shop or to enjoy leisure activities in neighbouring villages and towns. The services are also well used by tourists whose spending power is vital to the local economy.
So it is worrying to hear concerns expressed by local rail campaigners over plans for the Pennine rail route currently being proposed by Network Rail.
Campaigners say the plans, which would see six fast trains an hour running between Leeds and Manchester, would wreck any idea of a local train service being about connecting local communities.
And if that were to happen, that would not be good news for anyone.
Equally worrying is the campaigners’ contention that there has been a lack of consultation on the proposals and that by the time any such process could be undertaken, a decision will already have been made.
It is surely crucial that the local communities served by these services and those people who use them be involved in their development.
The alternative is that usage will plummet and communities will be fragmented. And no-one wants either of those things to happen.