North Lincolnshire MP gathers support for direct train service to London
Martin Vickers, Barton and Cleethorpes MP, with Ian Kelly and Adam Fowler from Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce
By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 6 Mar 2018
A North Lincolnshire MP has met with representatives from Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce to discuss support for a direct train service to London.
On Saturday, Barton and Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers, held a meeting with Ian Kelly and Adam Fowler to discuss business support for his campaign for direct train services from Cleethorpes to London, which would also call at Scunthorpe.
Both Mr Kelly and Mr Fowler were supportive of Mr Vickers' campaign citing the benefits to the business community of being able to travel between London and northern Lincolnshire, without changing in Doncaster or Newark.
The Chamber of Commerce expressed interest in rail operator Grand Central's application to run such a service with an application to the Office for Rail and Road expected imminently.
A Grand Central train at King's Cross station in London. The company is aiming to expand its services to cover North Lincolnshire and has received support from North Lincolnshire Council(Image: Martin Keene/PA)
As previously reported, a direct rail link between northern Lincolnshire and London has moved a significant step closer to becoming a reality after council bosses pledged to help put together a business case for the scheme.
North Lincolnshire Council is to work with Grand Central on proposals for the service, which could start running by 2020.
If the link goes ahead, the council say it could provide a major boost to the local economy, as well as helping to increase tourism and creating more jobs.
Mr Vickers said: "This meeting was a welcome opportunity to meet one of the most prominent voices of business in the Humber region. I am pleased that they are supportive of my long-running campaign.
"The case for a direct rail service is clear. We have already seen how the direct service between Hull and London encourages business executives to conduct more business on the north bank of the Humber.
"Having a similar service for the south bank would lead to similar results, particularly for industries such as oil and renewables which businesses in London often need to reach but do not know the best way to get there. Being able to arrive at Kings Cross and to see Cleethorpes on the departure board would have a tremendous impact.
"Grand Central are due to submit their application to run a direct service very soon. I would encourage residents in the North Lincolnshire area to write to the Office of Rail and Road in support as proof of demand for the service will have a notable impact on whether they decide to approve the application or not.
"The early conclusion of the Virgin Trains franchise provides an opportunity to lobby the Government to ensure that whatever emerges from current negotiations provides for direct services to Cleethorpes."