Junior transport Minister and local MP Andrew Jones has welcomed news that Harrogate is to see more services – including express services – to and from Leeds starting this week.
In more good news for Harrogate passengers, the brand new Azuma bullet trains are shortly to start operating between Leeds and London - with six direct services a day to and from Harrogate a possibilty from December.
In the short run, the current two services an hour on the Harrogate to Leeds line will be increased this week to three an hour with an express train stopping at Hornbeam Park and Horsforth reducing journey times to just 30 minutes.
The three services an hour will run between 9.14am and 4.15pm with an hourly express service returning from Leeds in addition to current services.
The new Azuma bullet trains will be in service on the Leeds to Kings Cross line this month with six daily direct services to Harrogate which may be introduced as early as December.
Mr Jones said: “As a Minister in the Department for Transport I know how important reliable and good standard public transport is.
"As a Harrogate resident who often uses the train for my commute to and from Westminster I experience first-hand the issues which commuters and leisure passengers face locally.
“That is why I know that we have had our problems on our local line. But it seems that we are about to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
“We are getting more trains, faster trains and better trains locally and on the main line to Kings Cross. A new express service in addition to our regular services to and from Leeds is a real boon.
"The dreaded pacers are currently being phased out and, at the same time, we will see brand new Azuma bullet trains between Harrogate and London.
“This isn’t just great news for local passengers it is great news for business and leisure tourism as well as our vital conference trade.
"We know that if somewhere is easy to get to then it will attract more visitors and we will see more tourist pounds through the tills of local shops and businesses.
"We have low unemployment and lower than average retail vacancy rates in Harrogate. This will ensure that remains the case.”