Public meeting to be held over LNER’s controversial proposals for new train timetable
A public meeting will be held on Monday to discuss the proposed new LNER train timetable for 2022, which has been widely criticised as it would reduce services in Northumberland.
Dennis Fancett from the rail campaign group SENRUG will be speaking at the meeting, which will take place at Berwick Town Hall from 5pm, as well as representatives from the rail campaign group RAGES.
It has been arranged by county councillor for Berwick East, Georgina Hill, with the support of Berwick-upon-Tweed Town Council.
LNER’s proposed new timetable from May 2022, developed by Network Rail with all train and freight operators on the East Coast Main Line, would see the number of trains calling at Berwick reduced by around 72 per week.
Coun Hill said: “If LNER thought that they could sneak these changes through on the nod, then they are very much mistaken. There is a lot of anger in Berwick and elsewhere and, as Dennis has said, this is completely at odds with the Government’s so called ‘levelling up’ agenda.
“It definitely seems to be one of those occasions where campaigner and public pressure could force a rethink, so I would encourage residents to come to this meeting and respond to the consultation if they haven’t already done so.”
LNER said last month that the proposal has involved balancing various factors and so it has involved a series of trade-offs.
Its spokesman added: “Berwick would still have one LNER train every other hour, which is a better service than other stations with similar passenger numbers.”
SENRUG’s response to the LNER consultation ahead of the August 5 deadline includes the following: ‘The draft timetable is designed to improve journey times from London to Newcastle by 10 minutes and London to Edinburgh by 15 minutes. But this is not a problem that needs fixing.
‘Time on the train is not time lost to business due to superior on-board wifi, catering and first class services. However, time caused by changing trains is lost to business.’
Residents can respond to the proposal via https://lner.citizenspace.com