South Bank's direct rail link to London moves a step closer after survey
A Grand Central train at King's Cross station in London (Image: Martin Keene/PA)
By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 21 Jun 2018
Moves to deliver a direct rail link to London have received a welcome boost following an extensive survey of North Lincolnshire residents.
Council leader Rob Waltham presented the findings of a survey - which detailed the high level of support for the new direct rail train – to Chris Brandon from Grand Central.
Issues highlighted included provision of station parking, where people would travel from and what they want from the service.
A staggering 1,466 people responded to the survey to establish the level of support for a direct rail service from Scunthorpe to London, it would depart from Cleethorpes, taking in Grimsby and, potentially, Habrough for Immingham.
A resounding 97 per cent of the survey were in support with an additional 57 residents expressing their support by letter or email.
Council leader Rob Waltham and Chris Brandon, programme manager for Grand Central
The main findings from the survey are:
- The primary purpose of journeys to London for those who responded to the survey is to visit friends or relatives or a day out
- When travelling to London by rail, the majority of respondents start their journey from Scunthorpe station with clear evidence of need in Barnetby and Crowle also
- 74 per cent of respondents who travel by train, park at the train station or a car park nearby or are dropped off at the station by car
- The most important factor for respondents using a direct train service from North Lincolnshire to London is to avoid changing trains
- Potentially, half of those who responded to the survey would use a station closer to home for travel to London if station facilities or rail services were improved
- Main concern from respondents if a direct rail service to London progresses is the provision of station parking
If the bid receives support from the rail regulator, services could start in 2020.
Councillor Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: "It was an interesting meeting and gave me the opportunity to convey how strongly residents feel about having a direct rail service from North Lincolnshire stations to London.
"I am hopeful that the findings of this survey will provide strong evidence for a potential service in the future. Such a service would help enormously and would open up the opportunity for more businesses and residents to invest, visit and live in North Lincolnshire.
If the bid receives support from the rail regulator, services could start in 2020
"Grand central are working hard to establish a bid to the regulator and the evidence of support from North Lincolnshire residents can only help with this business case.
"I received a number of really positive letters about our bid for this service. However residents were also clear that their facilities would need to improve and increase at local train stations if this service is likely to go ahead. We will be using this data to present the strongest possible case."
Chris Brandon, programme manager for Grand Central, said: "We are grateful for the market research undertaken by North Lincolnshire Council and look forward to being able to use the information in developing our plans. We are currently in the process of refining our proposals and hope to be in a position to take forward an application to the Office of Rail and Road in the near future."