Lincoln’s Member of Parliament, Karl McCartney MP, has cautiously welcomed the decision by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to grant new applications from Virgin Trains East Coast to use the East Coast Mainline (ECML). However, Karl is concerned that also granting FirstGroup the ability to run new, additional services and trains on the Edinburgh to London line could negatively affect direct services between Lincoln and London due to capacity constraints on the ECML.
Karl is delighted however that this decision secures additional direct train services between Lincoln and London in 2019.
Karl McCartney MP said: “I am delighted that the ORR have listened to the numerous representations they have received both from myself, the County Council and I know from many others too, and have refused to grant all the new applications that would have put in jeopardy the direct services between Lincoln and London Virgin Trains East Coast have agreed to deliver.
“We cannot underestimate the importance of rail links to Lincoln and Lincolnshire, especially the economic benefits that will come from the improvements in regular direct rail connectivity between London to the City of Lincoln and County of Lincolnshire.
“More direct services between Lincoln and London will ensure this great City continues to be increasingly known as a first class destination for business and tourists.
“That’s why I did everything I could during the run-up to the ORR’s decision to impress on them the need to ensure that promises made to Lincoln must be kept.
“Whilst we ultimately welcome the decision to allow Virgin Trains East Coast to run the extra services as detailed in the original Franchise, granting open access to FirstGroup to run services from Edinburgh to London will only exacerbate the capacity constraints on the line and could negatively affect direct services between Lincoln and London. This nonsensical decision is certainly not welcomed by either me, my constituents or those who understand the current railway system and organisational relationships, and the decision-makers at the ORR should be ashamed of themselves. Their decision shows no concern at all for the reality of the situation on the ECML, nor my constituents.”
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For further information, please contact Karl McCartney MP at firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7219 7221.