Thursday, May 10, 2018

BRIGG COUNCILLOR SEEKS SUPPORT FOR DIRECT LOCAL RAIL LINK TO LONDON


FROM CHRIS O'ROURKE, NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL

North Lincolnshire is committed to improving connectivity through increasing investment in infrastructure that creates the right conditions for sustainable economic growth and connects people, business and places.
Working with Grand Central trains the council are seeking the public’s opinion on a direct rail service from North Lincolnshire to London via North Lincolnshire stations.
The survey, launched today and running to 21 May, will form part of the business case to detail the level of demand among residents and the business community for the service to London.
North Lincolnshire Council are supporting an application from Grand Central to the Rail Regulator for access to the line.
The proposal would see trains from London travel through Doncaster to North Lincolnshire including Scunthorpe, Barnetby and Crowle.
Cllr Rob Waltham (Brigg), Leader of the Council,  had pledged to support Grand Central’s application at a meeting in York two months ago.
He said: “We promised we would help support the business case and the survey is integral to that. It only takes a few minutes to fill out and gives residents and the business community a strong voice.”
Cllr Waltham, a board member of Transport for the North – England’s first sub-national Transport Body with statutory powers – also committed to making representations to the Department for Transport in support of the service.
He said: “Direct trains from North Lincolnshire to London would provide a significant boost to our local economy.
“North Lincolnshire already enjoys great rail connectivity with northern cities and to the south via Doncaster. But a direct London service would give another reason for businesses to set up or relocate here and increase opportunities for leisure travel.
The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RK3WFHL
Alternatively, please send any comments to Direct London Service Survey, Business Development, Civic Centre, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN16  1AB or email kate.robinson@northlincs.gov.uk


N.F. ADDS: Years ago there was a direct rail service from Grimsby to London, calling at Barnetby and taking the route from Lincoln to Newark to join the East Coast mainline. Pictured above is one of those trains. Our early 1970s view, from the Ken Fisher Collection, shows a Brush Type 4 (later Class 47) diesel thundering through North Kelsey station.

4 comments:

Ken Harrison said...

It's a pity that there is no direct link via Humberside Airport.
About 20 years ago, I recall that the direct route to London from Grimsby, via Barnetby was resurrected.....it ceased after a couple of years...



David Barrett said...

MY RESPONSE, COPIED FROM THE BARNETBY COMMUNITY FACEBOOK PAGE: As far as the local rail service goes much more needs doing to correct what is effectively a crumbling cake before we start placing cherries on top. Paul Johnson has already mentioned the hard-fought battle to arouse absolutely no council interest at all in the restoration of a regular passenger train service via Brigg elsewhere on the community page to which I will add mention of the Scunthorpe to Sheffield all stations passenger service as this is being cut into two at Doncaster later this month. Not only that but it is being re-timed so that from Scunthorpe it departs before Trans Pennine's Cleethorpes to Manchester service instead of the present arrangement where it follows T.P.E.X. thereby destroying a long-established connection which a few of us from points east of Scunthorpe actually found useful at times. This, along with the extensive walk between Doncaster's newly commisioned platform nothing and the rest of the railway, was heralded by our local authority as an improved service! A side effect of this change will be the enforced re-timing of the evening Trans-Pennine services between Doncaster and Cleethorpes resulting in some cases in the loss of connections at Doncaster. I don't quite know what timetable the council's P.R. wonks consult to crow about improvements but it is certainly not the same issue as that available to the public. The Cleethorpes-Lincoln-Newark service desperately needs improvement yet, with the forthcoming franchise renewal, the only strong support for this has come from the East Midlands Local Authorities who strictly speaking have no jurisdiction over the Northern Lincolnshire Area, not our own people who still fiddle with open access operators whilst the rest of the system burns and all because a couple of politicos don't want to change trains at Doncaster or Newark. Added to this is the massively over-budget resignalling of the area undertaken by Network Rail a couple of years ago which enhanced the capability of the local railway by exactly nothing at which point we begin to realise that our local amenity is now hardwired into it almost forever being a low-speed and ineffective steam age remnant albeit with some high-tech. L.E.D. signals presiding over not much of a train service. Until these basics are put right I see no case for any such service as that advocated by our representatives - I will not be offering them my support.

David Barrett said...

Re. Ken Harrison's comment: there was never any resurrection, the Cleethorpes-King's Cross via Barnetby service was a diversion which took place when the established route used by these trains via Louth, Boston and Spalding was closed in October 1970 at which time there were two trains each way on weekdays. This was doubled to four in May 1972 but subsequently trimmed back to three and finally, for the last decade or so of the service, to one each way in the early 1980s although on this occasion H.S.T.s were used permitting 125 M.P.H. operation.

Re. Rob Waltham's assertion: I wonder what exactly is "Great connectivity".

Paul said...

Never has a public consultation caused so much anger, the fact that 3 local councilors and the MP support this but did little to support Brigg service or the promotion speaks volumes.