Lincoln to London trains promise “will be delivered”

Lincoln to London commuters were given assurances from the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling that extra rail services promised by Virgin Trains and Stagecoach will be upheld.

He was responding to a question by Lincoln Member of Parliament Karen Lee in the House of Commons on Thursday, May 24.

Last week, doubt was cast over commitments to extra London services from the city after a franchise agreement between Virgin Trains (10%) and Stagecoach Group (90%) for the East Coast Mainline was terminated.

Virgin Trains East Coast’s contract will be ended on June 24 and the franchise will be brought back under public control.

Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling previously described the contract as a “broken model”.

The original franchise was signed in 2015 but poor passenger numbers and revenues meant heavy losses for the partnership — some £200 million.

Lincoln was meant to get direct trains to and from London every two hours from May 2019.

MP Karen Lee asked Chris Grayling to make a “firm commitment” to the previous pledge.

He responded: “It is my intention that the commitments to new services made in the Virgin Trains franchise are delivered.

“You will know, as I have told this house before, that there was an issue for some while around some of the timing around some of those services because of problems with infrastructure improvements.

“I am putting Network Rail under as much pressure as possible to deliver those as quickly as possible.

“I will give [Karen Lee], and all other members who are waiting for these services, an assurance that I will make sure they are delivered.”