You are right to criticise Network Rail's unilateral decision to shut down the Lakes Line on Saturday and Easter Sunday (Comment, February 14. 'Rail closure dates are set to hit the economy'). But this is just the latest in an unending series of blows to local people, to tourists, to the local economy, and to our environment.

Recent examples include:

1 The disastrous new timetable introduced in May 2018. Services on the Lakes Line were thrown into disarray, culminating in Northern Rail closing the service completely for four weeks in June-July 2018.

2 Rail services were suspended for 48 days including many Saturdays through 2018/19 due to an industrial dispute about safety between Northern Rail and the RMT.

3 The total loss of the Saturday service has been compounded by cancellations on Sundays, due to another industrial dispute, this time between Northern and ASLEF.

4 The Saturday evening and Sunday morning services are always reduced by the insistence of Network Rail that they must have access to the line for 12 hours or more.

5 While Northern Rail has promised new trains, we understand that none is yet ready for use and that no training has yet started. The new trains will provide greater comfort, but fewer seats.

6 Despite longstanding promises to increase train frequency as well as the number of through trains, it seems that matters will only get worse with the new timetable in May 2019. We can anticipate longer waits for connections, and increased stopping times at Lancaster and Preston for the small number of through trains. Not all trains will stop at Burneside and Staveley.

7 Train tickets should usually be available to book 12 weeks ahead, when Advance tickets are available providing a significant reduction in price. This period is now frequently reduced to only six weeks ahead, limiting access to cheaper travel.

8 The decision to shut down rail services at the Easter weekend (and perhaps subsequent bank holidays?) is particularly crass. It will impact adversely not only on individual passengers but also on the the local economy and on the environment, as some who would prefer to travel by rail will have no choice but to drive instead.

Northern Rail has borne the brunt of the criticism for failures on the Lakes Line. The inquiry into the May 2018 timetable debacle (published by the Office of Rail and Road in December 2018) demonstrated that Network Rail shares responsibility for the resulting problems. In addition, decisions taken by Network Rail about line closures impact every weekend as well as at Bank Holidays.

Local people and our visitors should be able to rely on an efficient service, our local economy should benefit from good public transport and our environment should be protected. Northern Rail and Network Rail demonstrate a recurring lack of responsibility to provide this.

Despite this there is no tangible evidence that either organisation is being held to account for their failures.

John Mitchell and Sheila Adam