STRONG RESISTANCE FOR PROPOSED RAIL CUTS
STRONG RESISTANCE FOR CUTS IN RAIL SERVICES
Major worries are being expressed over the planned reduction in train services from Northallerton next year.
LNER is planning to discontinue direct services to Edinburgh, and its new direct service from London to Middlesbrough will not call at Northallerton.
TransPennine Express is also planning significant changes in services from May 2022. Its draft Northallerton timetable reveals the loss of direct trains to Newcastle (with the exception of one westbound train at 04:48), and connections with Darlington are extremely spasmodic.
Journeys across the Pennines are in danger of taking longer as Northallerton will be relegated to the Saltburn to Manchester path. These services are usually operated by the older and inferior Class 185 trains rather than the newer and more spacious Novas.
Northallerton Business Improvement District (BID) is objecting to the proposed changes, which it says will have a negative impact on the town.
“We pride ourselves on our main-line connections, so this is a major concern,” says manager Graham Bell. “People often travel long distances to shop in Northallerton because of our unique mixture of quality independents and major High Street names, and we must do all we can to resist these changes.
“We are also puzzled why a reported £900,000 was spent recently on extending the northbound platform for the longer Azuma and Nova trains if fewer of them are likely to stop here.”
While it is suggested CrossCountry Trains may fill gaps on direct Edinburgh services, the BID feels passengers will be loath to lose their more modern and spacious Azumas.
There is still time to object to these changes if others feel as strongly as the BID. They can make their views known via the LNER and TransPennine Express consultation programmes, which are open until 5 August.
More details on LNER’s proposed timetable changes can be found here: