FEARS that rail services in the Yorkshire region are to be cut have been rejected by a Government minister.
Northern Rail, one of the largest rail franchises, will not have its timetable changed, its £2.4bn subsidy reduced or any cuts to its rolling stock, said junior transport minister Derek Twigg.
Lines operated by the company include the Huddersfield-Sheffield route.
Mr Twigg said the Strategic Rail Authority review started in March 2005 found the franchise operated efficiently and that passenger journeys had grown by 10% in the last year to more than 71 million a year.
He said that the review had found that the franchise operated efficiently, with its trains allocated to meet the needs of peak time travel into major towns and cities.
"In the light of these findings, and the high growth which the franchise is currently experiencing, the Department has concluded that there is no compelling case for amending the current timetable or allocation of rolling stock," he said.
Northern Rail's managing director Heidi Mottram said: "We're delighted with the outcome, which has recognised the efficiency of the operation and the important contribution of rail services to the economic growth of the north."
Bob Crow, general secretary of Britain's biggest rail union, the RMT, said: "Rail workers and train users alike will breathe a sigh of relief that the shadow of the axe has been lifted from vital rail services and jobs in the north of England.
"RMT has waged a consistent campaign to defend Northern Rail services and to win support for a growing role for rail, and it is good news that public opinion appears to have prevailed."