The fall out from the West Coast railway franchise débâcles last summer is that the two providers of trains to Gainsborough have recently had their franchises extended.
East Midlands Trains will run services to Lincoln and Doncaster until October 2017 and Northern Rail will continue to operate the service to Lincoln and Sheffield until 2016. East Midland Trains is part of Stagecoach who also run our bus services.
Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Group finance director has said: “Our focus will be on further improving rail travel for our customers and securing a good return for investors who play a key role in the funding of the UK rail network.”
Gainsborough Rail and Bus Users Group (GRaB) intend to ensure Mr Griffiths keeps to his promise to focus on improving rail services by asking that we receive our fare share of improvements. Top of our list is for an early train to Doncaster, at around 7am. We would also like the introduction of a Sunday service to Doncaster. Some co-ordination of rail and bus services at Lea Road station and inter-availability of fares between bus and rail so that passengers can travel by bus in one direction and rail in the other on the same ticket would help encourage folks out of their cars.
This month Lincolnshire County Council are due to publish their ten year transport plan. Hopefully they will have taken on board some our comments made during the public consultation last year. GraB did ask that they press the Department for Transport for a two hourly service from Lincoln to Doncaster and for the Lincoln to Sheffield service to be transferred from Northern Rail to East Midland Trains.
GRaB will invite both train operators and a representative from Lincolnshire County Council to attend our AGM next month. Watch the Gainsborough Standard for details.