Sunday, January 13, 2019


A train company has been approached to consider introducing a new bus service that would allow people living in Brigg, Barnetby and Kirton Lindsey to access trains running on the east coast mainline between London and Scotland.
Rail campaigner Paul Johnson has told Brigg Blog that Northern Rail is contracted by the Department for Transport to run three Saturdays-only trains a week serving Brigg and Kirton Lindsey.
But an idea has been put forward that LNER, which operates trains on the east coast route, should look at providing a feeder bus service from Retford station that would call at Gainsborough Central, Kirton Lindsey, Brigg and Barnetby - Mondays to Fridays.
Paul stressed: "This is not a new idea, as it worked exceptionally well between Kettering and Corby for many years on the Midland main line."
The rail campaigner says he has been asked by LNER to outline how this bus service would work.
He adds: "There would be very little conflict of interest because the bus service would only run Monday to Friday and there is very little or no commercial bus service at present between Retford/Gainsborough/Kirton In Lindsey and Brigg."
This feeder bus service for the Brigg Line would be temporary and the objective of re-establishing a meaningful six-day-a-week train service on the Brigg Line would remain.
Paul says feeder buses run by the train operator "should be seen as a stop gap."
Brigg Blog thinks the major question is: How much demand exists in our area for a feeder bus service to and from Retford?
Another important factor is how long the bus would take to journey between North Lincolnshire and North Nottinghamshire to meet London-Scotland trains.
Last time we drove from Brigg to Retford to collect passengers from a London train we think it took us about 50 minutes.
Up to 25 years ago you could still board a train in Brigg, Monday to Saturday, and change at Retford.
Travellers can currently get from Barnetby to London by train but have to use the longer Scunthorpe-Doncaster route and then travel south through Retford.
Decades ago, direct trains operated from Cleethorpes and Grimsby to London via Barnetby, Lincoln and Newark - an even shorter route.
Pictured below is one of those trains, seen passing through North Kelsey station, which British Rail had closed a few years earlier.

Please post a comment here to let us know your thoughts on the suggested feeder bus service. 

An express train linking Cleethorpes and Grimsby passing through North Kelsey station in the early 1970s - picture from the Ken Fisher Collection


David Barrett said...

The long-gone service 116 rides again! This actually took one hour and fifteen minutes from Brigg to Gainsborough although I appreciate that a rail feeder bus operating as a limited stop service would be bound by a very different timetable to that of almost half a century ago but I doubt that anywhere close to fifty minutes to Retford as mentioned in the blog would be achievable. One of the problems in this case is that the A road only route between Brigg and Gainsborough misses Kirton Lindsey but to parallel the railway entails running over B/C roads and not directly between the locations to be served at that. Of course, in the absence of convenient roads, the railway should perform much better than it actually does - at least one would have thought so.

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