Challenge over trains

SIR Alan Beith MP has challenged the Minister of State for Transport and train operating companies to ensure more rail services are available from Berwick.

Sir Alan wrote to the Minister of State after the new rail timetable which comes into effect in May was published, with a four hour gap in southbound services from Berwick.

Now the Minister has admitted to Sir Alan that the full potential of timetable changes to improve services for Berwick depends on further changes being made in the December 2011 timetable.

Sir Alan said: “Although there are three extra trains for Berwick in the May timetable, some gaps in the service have been created because of the use of diesel powered trains which can only keep to the timetable by making fewer stops. This was the reason for the four hour gap, which has been filled by stopping an additional London-bound train.”

“Although I welcome the improvements made so far, such as the later evening final departures from London Kings Cross and Newcastle, I will be pressing the Department and the train operating companies to achieve the regularly hourly service which was one of the objectives of the timetable changes.”