Yet again our dearest railway system in Europe is going in the wrong direction, and I read with interest SA January 3 that “train fare hike hits commuters.”

The majority of European networks are state-run, owing to the large sums of money involved, and also for the good of their economies.

Therefore it is bad indeed that, yet again, as a nation we are going in to reverse regarding present Government policy.

This is along with the detrimental influence of the McNulty report which, in many aspects, is all too similar to the Beecham policies of the 1960s, which left a lasting legacy of damage to the network.

Many of the passengers spoken to at Swindon station by the Swindon Advertiser are, I suspect, from a younger generation that is not old enough to recall the days before our railway network was privatised, and virtually overnight became a fragmented mess of franchised operators, with maximising and increasing profits being the sole driving force behind them.

Sadly, not a single person interviewed suggested that our network could only be improved with complete renationalisation.

All taxpayers surely benefit from a railway network that contributes to the good of the economy, both in terms of freight and passengers being taken off of our congested road system.

But, unfortunately, this Government has gone one step further than successive ones, in taking us in the opposite direction by shifting the cost on to the passenger.

No one, including myself, is for one minute suggesting that British Rail was a perfect body without some ills of its own.

But it was in a far better position to serve the needs of the fare-paying public when it came to the implementation and the commissioning of large infrastructure projects.

G A Woodward Nelson Street Swindon

Driven by cash

I was intrigued by the story in Thursday’s Adver concerning the worrying of sheep by unsupervised dogs.

I agree that the owners are to blame and efforts should be made to trace them and take appropriate action.

However, farmer Rupert Burr seems all too keen to kill the dogs first and ask questions later.

This is not untypical of many farmers who just love to kill animals if given the chance.

This will be apparent later this year when farmers start to kill badgers in the mistaken belief they spread bovine TB.

What exactly are the ewes for? Not pets obviously but a way of making some money at the animals’ expense.

Philip Beaven Merton Avenue, Swindon

Win was a treat

Just a note to say how pleased and surprised I was to receive a call telling me I had won the prize of £100 to spend at the McCarther Glen Outlet Village, together with the assistance of a personal shopper.

I had great fun learning about my best colours and what clothes would suit my shape, and then being helped to choose a dress, top and trousers. I’m not very good at clothes shopping so it was really good to have some advice. I enjoy reading the Advertiser and finding out what's going on in Swindon. It’s a bonus to win one of your competitions. Many thanks.

Stella Hopkins Parkstone Walk, Swindon

Recycling gripe

Just thought I would make comment on your report from Friday’s paper re recycling .

Your report stated all outstanding recycling would be collected by Saturday evening.

Well that’s another false promise from the local council .

My recycling should have been collected on Friday and by Sunday evening and mine was still awaiting collection .

Michael Hunt Bourne Road Moredon Swindon