Top level rail talks agreed

RAIL campaigners at Morpeth are set for high-level talks with train operators vying to take over the East Coast Mainline, which runs through the County.

The newly-formed South East Northumberland Rail Users Group (SENRUG) the body set up to fight for better train services across the Borough has been invited to send a representative to a meeting organised by train watchdog the Rail Passenger Committee.

The meeting, at York on July 23, will bring together the four bidders for the lucrative East Coast Mainline franchise, which is open for tender after GNER's contract expired.

The talks will give SENRUG a chance to lobby operators for more frequent national network services in the region.

Group member Dennis Fancett, who will be representing SENRUG at the meeting, said: "This just goes to show the value of being organised as a Rail User Group.

"We are already getting direct access to the people who will be providing our Intercity rail services in the next few years, and we'll be able to get our views and concerns across to them early."