DCSIMG

Fears over future of services

An East Coast train approaches the southbound platform at Morpeth Railway Station.

An East Coast train approaches the southbound platform at Morpeth Railway Station.

Concerns have been raised over the future of Morpeth station under new proposals for the East Coast mainline.

Campaign group SENRUG (South East Northumberland Rail Users Group) is concerned that vital services at the station are not protected.

Specification for the new East Coast Main Line rail service, recently published by the Department for Transport, does not include the station.

Three companies are bidding for the franchise, to run the line from March 2015, but can withdraw any service that is not ‘franchise protected’ – including Morpeth.

SENRUG chairman Dennis Fancett: “As far as we can see, the all-important early morning Monday to Friday southbound connection from Morpeth to the Flying Scotsman service with current arrival in London by 9.40am is no longer a specified requirement.

“The earliest requirement for arrival in London from Morpeth reverts to 10.05am, making that 10am business meeting impossible once again.

“Although the operator is required to retain the two direct services from Morpeth to London, it is not stipulated that one of them must offer a connection at Newcastle to the Flying Scotsman.”

And the franchise specification does not include any improvements for service at Morpeth.

SENRUG has written to the DfT about their concerns regarding the franchise.

 

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