Danger Ahead as ECML Consultations Launched

We have been hit by no less than 5 simultaneous consultations. Transport For the North have launched one on decarbonising transport, and LNER, Transpennine Express, CrossCountry and Northern have all launched separate consultations on the May 2022 timetable. So have the other train companies further south on the East Coast Main Line but they won’t affect SENRUG. These consultations make very worrying proposals, and worse, the implication is they’re not really consultations at all but a master plan from DfT and LNER, to which only fine-tuning changes will be possible. In short, in order to get faster trains between London and Edinburgh, LNER want to remove all the off-peak services at Morpeth as well as making significant cuts at Berwick. It is also apparently necessary to withdraw the TPE service north of Newcastle completely meaning Morpeth also loses its hourly connection not just to Edinburgh but also Leeds and Manchester. A key evening return train from Newcastle will no longer call at Cramlington, worsening service there; through connections to MetroCentre and beyond will be lost, and some trains will no longer call at Manors. Nor will Cramlington get any earlier commuter trains. SENRUG will be objecting vigorously and will be alerting local Councillors, MPs and The North of Tyne Mayor and asking them to object too. So, plenty of work to do over the next few weeks. UPDATE: SENRUG’s full briefing on the proposals can be seen in our “Documents We’ve Issued” section here.

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