Friday, 18 June 2010

New Train Services Will Not Happen

Direct train services between Lincoln and London have been cut even before they have begun. Train operator East Coast expects to save £9 million a year by running just one daily return service to and from King's Cross from May 2011, instead of the seven originally planned.

Most passengers from Lincoln will have to travel to Newark to catch onward trains. East Coast, owned by Directly Operated Railways, which was set up by the Government, will also be using existing engines and carriages on the direct service in and out of Lincoln and will not now introduce an additional fleet of five Adelante Class 180 trains.

Elaine Holt, Chief Executive of Directly Operated Railways and Chairman of East Coast, said: "
We had believed the proposed new Lincoln services would provide more through trains for customers from the region – and this formed an important part of the Eureka! timetable changes.

"However, given the very tough economic climate, all parts of the Government are looking to see where efficiencies can be made."
It was reported earlier in the year that East Coast was to run the seven direct services each way between Lincoln and Kings Cross from May next year.

Mr. Karl McCartney MP (Conservative, Lincoln) has said:
"Having fourteen services a day between Lincoln and London would have been absolutely brilliant for us and put Lincoln on the map.

"I am very disappointed with East Coast's announcement, but I am pleased there will be two services.

"East Coast has made the decision to cut the services. It is not Government cuts."
A single direct service from Lincoln will depart at 7.22am, arriving at King's Cross at 9.21am. The return leg leaves London at 7.06pm, arriving in Lincoln at 9pm.

David Harby, Chairman of the Lincolnshire branch of Railfuture, said members had been anticipating the risk due to tighter public spending given that the service would have needed a Government subsidy.
Mr Harby, who lives off Brant Road, Lincoln, said:
"I highlighted the risk to the service during the election campaign and Karl McCartney refused to give any assurance.
"We are sorry to see the service cut, but can take comfort from the two trains a day and the extra stops at Newark that will benefit morning trips to London.
"Also the use of nine-car trains instead of four-car Adelante trains will answer concerns of overcrowding."