East Coast scraps plans for Lincoln-London direct services

Plans to provide high-frequency direct train services between Lincoln and London have been scrapped by rail operator East Coast in a bid to save £9 million for the taxpayer.

East Coast, which took over the east coast mainline after the failure of the National Express East Coast franchise in an effective renationalisation, says that it will now only operate a single daily service between the two cities from the introduction of a radical new timetable in May 2011. Originally, seven direct weekday services were planned.

The so-called Eureka! timetable is intended to deliver more than two million extra seats per year, additional services, faster typical journey times and improved connections.

Elaine Holt, chairman of East Coast, said: “I know this will come as a disappointment to many people, especially to those in Lincoln who were looking forward to a much improved direct service to London.

“We had believed the proposed new Lincoln services would provide more through trains for customers from the region – and this formed an important part of the Eureka! timetable changes. However, given the very tough economic climate, all parts of the Government are looking to see where efficiencies can be made.

“We’re very pleased that two through services will be retained for Lincoln.”

The single direct service will depart Lincoln at 0722, calling at Newark, Grantham, Peterborough and Stevenage, before arriving in King’s Cross at 0921. An evening service will leave King’s Cross at 1906, arriving at Lincoln at 2100. Four extra services will now operate between London King’s Cross and Newark as part of the new timetable.

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