Harrogate conference chiefs 'push for better train links'

9th July 2008

<p>The conference industry – one of the major driving forces behind Harrogate's economy – could suffer if train services are not improved to the area, according to experts.</p><p>Business bosses have called on the Office of Rail Regulation asking them to provide better train links to the spa town in order to help drive business there. </p><p>Although Harrogate's conference industry is extremely popular, it is facing mounting pressure from conference areas in other parts of the country including London, Manchester and Liverpool, the Yorkshire Post reports.</p><p>The Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce has now written to the rail regulator demanding better rail services – especially in light of the current credit crunch making businesses struggle.</p><p>Business bosses are particularly concerned about the lack of direct trains – with commuters from London having to take connecting train services to Leeds or York to get to Harrogate. </p><p>Brian Dunsby, chief executive of the Chamber, told the newspaper: "Conferencing and trade exhibitions are the mainstay of Harrogate's economy although they are being affected by the fact that the town is not being served by adequate rail and road links.</p><p>"It is of a huge concern to us, and we need to make sure that people can get to and from the town easily otherwise we will not be able to compete with other venues across Britain.</p><p>"It is hugely frustrating not just for the conferencing industry, but for the growing number of Harrogate-based business executives who are attempting to travel to other parts of the country when there is not an adequate rail service."<img alt="ADNFCR-1753-ID-18677213-ADNFCR" src="http://feeds.directnews.co.uk/feedtrack/justcopyright.gif?feedid=1753&itemid=18677213" /></p>