New train timetable spells disaster for stevenage

A PROPOSED new train timetable is bad news for Stevenage, according to a rail users group. Currently National Express provides long-distance trains from Stevenage station to places in the north of the country, including Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinb

A PROPOSED new train timetable is "bad news" for Stevenage, according to a rail users' group.

Currently National Express provides long-distance trains from Stevenage station to places in the north of the country, including Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

But a new timetable for the East Coast Main Line, designed to allow five fast trains per hour from Kings Cross instead of four, will mean that apart from a very early train to Newcastle the only long-distance destination north of Stevenage will be Leeds, with one train per hour.

To go further north will mean a 56-minute wait at Doncaster, unless passengers instead catch a slow train from Stevenage to Peterborough and change there. Apart from two in the early morning, fast trains from Stevenage to Peterborough will be scrapped.


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Stephen McPartland, founder of Stevenage and Knebworth Rail Users' Group, said: "We feel these proposed timetable changes are bad news for Stevenage and should be reversed.

"It is important Stevenage does not lose any services going further north, as we want the town to be able to compete and attract investment, so it must be an excellent transport hub.

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"We believe the timetable could come into effect in December 2010, but will be subject to normal consultation and we will be making our representations and are endeavouring to secure a meeting with National Express or their successor to discuss these issues."

Cllr Malcolm Cowan, a member of Herts County Council, added: "One wonders exactly what planet some of these people live on. This is a major backward step for both business and leisure travellers who rely on Stevenage. As fares soar, we get a worse service.

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