I’ve just had a read of this document and there are some very concerning plans / ideas here about future train services for our area. You might want to have a look. I plan to make a submission to this consultation.
I agree that we need greater train service capacity which may include looking at additional lines and services, and it’s also important that our existing services aren’t down graded. I am also very concerned about the plans (herein) re travelling north to Market Harborough, Leicester etc. I work in Leicester and the plans here would mean the removal of all direct trains to MH, Leicester, Nottingham and elsewhere from Wellingborough. I thought the idea of building 3,500 houses next to the train station would support more people using the train (in both directions), not possibly a reduction or downgrading of services.
If you are a train user in this area this document is a must read as is the need to feedback on their consultation. Hopefully between all of us we could encourage them to see the sense of the radical notion of increased train travel, connectivity and facilities, better prices, and staff Presence, not less.
The consultation on the replacement East Midlands rail franchise (http://bit.ly/east-midlands-consultation) proposes there to be no more Intercity trains for Luton, Luton Airport, Bedford, Wellingborough, Melton Mowbray or Oakham, and limited Intercity services for Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway and Beeston. It also proposes a reduced service between Leicester and Kettering.
On these proposals passengers between Luton/Luton Airport/Bedford/Wellingborough and Market Harborough/Leicester/Loughborough/Beeston/Nottingham will have to change onto the reduced number of Intercity trains that stop at Kettering (p29).
People that currently rely on these services will be struggling to get to and from work, or to visit relatives, when they have organised their lives around the current train service that will be cut. The proposals will make the problems of ‘limited connectivity’ (p18) worse, and are contrary to the expectation of passengers to “be rewarded for their loyalty” (p6) and to be respected (p24).
As such, we oppose the approach of the consultation (question 4). It is fundamentally wrong in strictly splitting services between electrified ‘commuter’ services and bi-mode Intercity services. The distinction between a ‘commuter’ market and an ‘Intercity’ market that the consultation makes does not match the reality of “peak time” services (full of commuters) between London, “Nottingham, Sheffield and Derby” that the consultation talks of (p18). We also oppose the connected decision to cancel electrification between Kettering and Leicester/Nottingham/Derby/Sheffield. By ending the strict split between electrified ‘commuter’ services and bi-mode Intercity services, Melton Mowbray and Oakham should retain their Intercity trains (question 5).
The consultation proposal is to increase capacity on the Midland mainline. This should mean better services for all. The extra train compared to current timetables should be an hourly train London/Luton/Luton Airport/Bedford/Wellingborough/Kettering/Market Harborough/Leicester/East Midlands Parkway/Long Eaton/Derby, sometimes going on to Sheffield. This is our response to consultation question 10. We also believe there should still also be hourly trains London/Luton Airport Parkway/Bedford/Wellingborough/Kettering/Market Harboro/Leicester/Loughborough/Beeston/Nottingham (our opposition to the opproach of the consultation -question 4- should be explicitly taken as support for continuation of these existing services as well as Intercity services to Melton Mowbray and Oakham). We answer question 20 that improving the “door-to-door journey experience” can only be acheived by increasing, rather than reducing the number of through trains, requiring all existing through services to be retained.
Rather than cutting stops and services, we consider, as part of our response to question 4, that since the next operator is to “come forward with plans for modern, fast, efficient and comfortable trains…including…Intercity trains” (p6), that those trains should be specified with enough/wide enough doors, specified for positions within the coaches that enable quick entry and exit. We consider this to be a better overall approach to reducing delays by calling at intermediate stations (p18).
Each of us wishes our signing of the petition to be treated as a formal individual response to consultation questions 4, 5, 10 and 20, in addition to any response to the consultation we may have sent through other means. Sign here.