As part of Karl's mission to Put Lincoln First, improving rail connections between Lincoln and the rest of the country has always been a key priority.
This is why he has backed transport body, Midland Connect, in its call for improvements to the Nottingham, Newark to Lincoln line. This was based on a survey of firms employing nearly 8,000 people who delivered an “overwhelming” message that rail improvements are needed on the line.
The survey showed that over half of businesses (51%) thought if the rail route was improved it would be used more by their employees. Some 97% of companies said that investment in train routes between Nottingham and Lincoln should form part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda.
Over 70% thought an improved rail route would make recruitment of new staff easier and 53% of businesses thought a faster and more frequent rail route would help their business grow as a result. 45% of the firms also believed that investment in the Nottingham to Lincoln rail route would save their businesses money.
74% of respondents stated their employees mostly drove to work. This is compared to just 14.5% who stated that most of their staff use the train to travel to work. The most common reason cited was inconvenient train times, followed by infrequent service.
Karl, MP for Lincoln and member of the House of Commons’ Transport Select Committee, said: “This research shows the case is even clearer now for the need for new investment in this strategic rail route. It will further plug Lincoln into the regional and national rail network which is vital to the success of the whole City and region.
"This will bring significant benefits to employers, workers and the wider public, including making it easier for tourists to enjoy Lincoln’s wonderful heritage and supporting our brilliant businesses to grow.
“It is well known that improving the transport infrastructure of regional cities like Lincoln and Nottingham leads to clear economic, environmental and quality of life benefits. To continue the drive to ‘Level Up’ our Country, this is exactly the type of project that should be supported by the Government and delivered at pace".
Midlands Connect’s head of rail Karen Heppenstall said: “The results are pretty overwhelming and show that businesses in Nottingham, Newark and Lincoln want to see improved rail services. They see this investment as an example of levelling up their area and helping their economy to grow".
“What the survey also showed is faster and more frequent trains will save businesses money, allow them to recruit more people and grow.
“We will use these results as part of our strategic case for investment in the corridor and I want to thank all the firms and organisations who took part and supported the survey.”