DCSIMG

Brigg rail link could see improvements

Paul Jackson (left), Chairman of the Friends of the Brigg and Lincoln Line Group, with John OGrady (2nd left) Stakeholder Manager for Northern Rail and some of the group who attended the meeting at Brigg Station.

Paul Jackson (left), Chairman of the Friends of the Brigg and Lincoln Line Group, with John OGrady (2nd left) Stakeholder Manager for Northern Rail and some of the group who attended the meeting at Brigg Station.

Brigg could have regular passenger rail traffic once again through the town’s station come 2016 - but don’t count on it.

That was the message Northern Rail hierarchy delivered on a windswept platform during an on-site meeting at Brigg Station.

The Friends of the Brigg and Lincoln Line group called the meeting, with chairman Paul Jackson outlining where the line goes after 30 years of Saturday only services.

“Northern Rail have the franchise renewed in 2016 and we are consulting with members of the public and local councils along the line,” he said.

“We have already had a positive meeting in Gainsborough.

“The new franchise takes over in February 2016 and the company have stated in their manifesto that they want to promote rural links.”

In the 1960s and 70s, Brigg Station was a hive of activity, but the line came close to closure in 1980 and was kept alive by the Saturday only service, with three trains each way.

The Brigg line connects at Barnetby in the east and links through Kirton Lindsey and Gainsborough westwards to Sheffield.

John O’Grady, Stakeholder Manager for Northern Rail, was present and said: “We are hopeful beyond 2016, but I can give you no promises, only that we are working together on the way forward.”

Representatives of Brigg Business Partnership, Brigg Town Council, North Lincolnshire Council, and Humberside Police were also at the meeting.

Brigg resident Phill Hewson told the Rasen Mail: “People feel a little unsafe here - the station is isolated; the approach is appalling.

“I am committed to the Brigg line and more optimistic now.

“I use the train on a Saturday regularly, but there are only a smattering of passengers.

“One problem is that the first train to Sheffield on a Saturday is at 11.44am, which is too late.”

Regional Station Master for the area Cliff Mayall, and technically Brigg Station master, with no less than 40 other stations in his charge, was optimistic at a positive outcome - but in the long term.

“I am hopeful there will be a regular daily service,if in the distant future,” he said. “We need to start planning now with the new franchise coming in.”

 

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