County battles to boost Rasen rail services

Highways has announced they will push for better train services in the county - but the focus is away  from  Rasen. EMN-170130-141957001
Highways has announced they will push for better train services in the county - but the focus is away from Rasen. EMN-170130-141957001

Lincolnshire County Council has confirmed it is pushing for improvements to be made to rail services in the Market Rasen area - including an end to overcrowded trains.

The county council is urging people to take part in a consultation regarding a new franchise for the East Midlands area which includes the Lincoln to Grimsby line through Market Rasen.

According to the county council, the Department for Transport is expected to launch the consultation ‘in the near future.’

The county council stresses that while some improvements have already been made, it is determined to lobby for better services throughout the county - including in the Rasen area.

A county council spokesman said: “When the DfT launches its consultation on the new East Midlands Franchise, we’ll certainly be pushing for improved services along this line (Lincoln to Grimsby).

“We’d particularly like to see an end to the overcrowding that regularly occurs between Lincoln and Market Rasen through more and improved rolling stock.

“We’d encourage people in Market Rasen to take part in the consultation and make sure they have their say on the type of service they’d like to see along this line.”

Richard Davies, the county council’s executive member for highways and transport, said: “The council has been lobbying hard for better train services over the last few years and there have been a lot of improvements in that time.

“For example, there has been a significant increase in the number of stops on the Lincoln to Nottingham line.

“In addition, the county council itself has helped improve Hykeham and Swinderby stations through our ‘Access Lincoln’ programme.

“There are other improvements on the horizon.

“Now, we want to build on that momentum.

“Once the Department for Transport launches its consultation we’ll be pushing for the best possible deal and it would be great if we had the local community behind us.”

There has been criticism of services on the Market Rasen line with passengers recently complaining they were left stranded at the town’s railway station because there was no room on a train to Lincoln.

Pauline Dickens, 75, said: “It’s great that we have the trains but they are always full. My arthritis makes it difficult to stand for the journey .”

Rebecca Bingham, 21, said: “We need more trains running at the weekends when it’s busier.”

“ There is only ever one carriage and they try to squeeze everyone on but it is a concern.”