Harrogate MP hails better rail links with London as boost for economic recovery after Covid

Harrogate and Knaresborough's MP has hailed news of plans to improve the town's rail links to London Kings Cross as a boost for its tourism and the visitor economy.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 2:18 pm
Plans for improvements to the Azuma trains and Harrogate-London rail links have been welcomed by Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones.

And Andrew Jones MP also encouraged the public to respond to new consultation by rail operator LNER to ensure the improvements take place.

Mr Jones said: This is a strong set of proposals from LNER once again demonstrating their commitment to services between Harrogate and London

“The earlier starts, faster journeys and the increase in the number of trains is great news and will help further cement our area as a destination for business and domestic tourism.”

“This is particularly important as our area re-opens for the conference and exhibition trade following the extension of lockdown ending."

LNER’s proposed new timetable from May 2022 seeks to build on more than a decade of planning and investment in LNER’s new Azuma trains and Network Rail’s modernisation of the East Coast’s tracks.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has now begun an eight-week public consultation on its proposed timetable changes which will include a better, faster daily service between Harrogate and London.

As well as encouraging everyone to take part in the consultation which runs until August 5, Harrogate’s MP said he had raised residents’ concerns with LNER over the potential noise created by the proposed last train of the day to London.

Mr Jones said: “The way to express support for this strong commitment to our area and raising any concerns is to respond to the consultation.

"I encourage everyone with a view to make it known.”

But, while this is a welcome deep commitment to continuing the improvement in rail services I have some concern about the last train from London leaving slightly earlier.

"I know too that residents living on the rail line near the station where the Azuma services are held are concerned about the noise.

"This is caused by the engines keeping running while the trains are prepared for travel and I have raised these concerns on behalf of residents directly with the Chief Executive."

In the case of Harrogate-London rail commuters, if approved, LNER's proposals include the following:

Journey times between Harrogate and London will be about ten minutes shorter during the day

Trains from Harrogate to London will run earlier from 6.35am, rather than the current 7.34pm

There will be an extra service from Harrogate to London with the last train of the day departing being at 6.35pm, rather than 5.36pm

Trains from London to Harrogate will start earlier at 6.40am, rather than 7.33am, though the last train of the day will be earlier at 4.39pm, rather than 5.33pm

LNER is aiming to support the economies and communities along its entire East Coast route, providing more services, more seats and reduced journey times and high levels of reliability on long distance services between London the north of England and Scotland, as an even more sustainable alternative to cars.

There will be 39 additional LNER services per weekday and many more at the weekend too. London-Edinburgh services will be around 15 minutes faster with up to 1,500 more seats per day, each way; and London to Newcastle services will be around 10 minutes faster, with up to 7,500 more seats per day, each way.

More info at www.lner.co.uk/Timetable2022

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