Station group calls for improved rail services

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CALLS for an improved train service for Market Rasen are being headed up by the town’s station adoption group.

Results of a survey conducted earlier this year have shown the biggest reason for people not using the train is because it is “unreliable”.

And in second equal place was the inconvenience.

Now the station adoption group (SAG) is lobbying MPs for a “greater effort on all sides being put into forward planning aimed at achieving improvements in rail services in Lincolnshire.”

While the work of the SAG has been devoted to the care and improvement of the station facilities, and spreading the word of rail travel within the community, they also take a wider overview of the rail service provided in the Lincolnshire area, insofar as this route is concerned.

“What local rail users, potential rail users, tax payers and voters would like to see is a positive and determined effort to meet these and even wider objectives, by local and national Government for the benefit of the community,” said Brian Ward from Market Rasen SAG.

“The privatisation of public transport has increased overheads so very much via the existence of competing companies each with their own management tiers and so on.

“It would now be so satisfying to see money being spent for the public good.”

A cause of major concern is also the lack of a late return train from London to this area, as a result of changes to the East Coast timetables.

“Furthermore,” said Mr Ward, “there are occasions when a two-car train is needed on this route, but a single unit operates the service.”

Members of SAG have carried out a check for more than twelve months of occasions when passengers have been left behind or the train has departed overcrowded, and these figures are submitted to East Midland Trains periodically.

“The standard responses about lack of rolling stock, the need to plan timetables well in advance and lack of funding are all well known.

“What we would now like to see is some form of determined effort to acknowledge the existence of actual, and perhaps more importantly potential, rail passengers along this route,” added Mr Ward.

The survey saw 60 per cent of returns coming from those aged over 60 years, with the top reasons for train usage overall being long distance journeys, with visiting friends or relatives in second place, shopping in third equal with other leisure, and last of all, in fifth place, work.