Government action called for over proposed cut in long-distance trains from Stevenage
GOVERNMENT is being called on to intervene over plans to reduce the number of long-distance trains from Stevenage station. Currently National Express provides trains from Stevenage to places in the north of the country, including Leeds, York, Newcastle an
GOVERNMENT is being called on to intervene over plans to reduce the number of long-distance trains from Stevenage station.
Currently National Express provides trains from Stevenage to places in the north of the country, including Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
But a new East Coast Main Line timetable, due to implemented from May next year, will mean there are no longer frequent direct trains to York or Newcastle from Stevenage.
There will also be no direct services to stations in Scotland, with only two of the proposed services from Stevenage travelling beyond Leeds.
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Cllr Simon Speller, Stevenage Borough Council's executive member for transport and economic development, has written to Transport Secretary Rt Hon Lord Andrew Adonis to ask him to intercede.
Cllr Speller said he "deplores" the proposed timetable because it will have "an adverse affect on both business and leisure travellers".
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"I am calling on the Secretary of State to intercede on behalf of Stevenage and make sure our town gets the rail services it needs," he said.
"It is important for the town's long-term development to maintain its excellent transport connections to the rest of the country."
Stephen McPartland, founder of Stevenage and Knebworth Rail Users' Group, has already said the proposed timetable changes are "bad news" and should be reversed.
"We want the town to be able to compete and attract investment, so it must be an excellent transport hub," he said.
Cllr Malcolm Cowan, a member of Herts County Council, called the plans "a major backward step".