Newcastle council prepare for changes to east coast mainline
Newcastle prepare for change
Newcastle Council are preparing for potential drastic changes of its route after ministers look to bring in a new operator on the nationalised East Coast.
Council leaders are preparing to tell the Department for Transport that future plans must include a continued commitment to the direct services to London. Non-stop trains were previously available with the nationalised East Coast, both outward, and returning from the capital.
There are discussions on-going relating to the council taking over Newcastle’s Central Station as the main partner with Network Rail. There is already work taking place to secure money to transform the outside of the station, as well as construct new hotels and office space behind it.
Key to success
Henri Murison, the councillor responsible for transport in the area said, “Non-stop services to Newcastle from and to London are key to the success of the city in the future, and could be provided in the short to medium term to meet the need for faster travel to and from the city region.”
He went on to say: “If the council was also to be given the lead role in managing the station, or as a partner in a longer term public sector led operator arrangement, we believe it could help significantly to deliver on the transport network we need to build to facilitate growth in the North East.”
“We must also not forget the role of other key services in the region which must be maintained, such as the existing competition based arrangements which have delivered Sunderland’s direct London rail service.”