A promise of better regional rail for North Lincolnshire from Rail Minister

Rail Minister Andrew Jones (centre above) aims for better Humber rail services
Rail Minister Andrew Jones (centre above) aims for better Humber rail services

A promise to get the Humber's rail services back on track has been made during a visit to the region by rail minister, Andrew Jones.

During his visit hosted by Humber’s Chamber he met MPs Diana Johnson and Emma Hardy, Transport for the North and business leaders from its Shipping and Transport Committee for his first meeting.

Rail Minister Andrew Jones (fourth from right above) aims for better Humber rail services

Rail Minister Andrew Jones (fourth from right above) aims for better Humber rail services

The region's movers and shakers left him in no doubt about the strength of feeling over the way the region is being treated by rail companies.

Old rolling stock, slow journey times and poor connectivity were all highlighted, along with the fact the Hull is the only major city in the UK not to have a direct rail link to its hub airport in Manchester.

The meeting came following a visit to Westminster last year to meet his predecessor, Jo Johnson MP, who agreed that the Humber: “Didn’t seem to be getting a very fair deal,” before he resigned over Brexit.

Andrew Jones, the MP for Knaresborough and Harrogate, said he believed the: “Investment in transport infrastructure was the driver for economic development” and he would ask his team to look at what could be done.

The Minister then travelled to Phillips66 in Immingham, where he met with Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers and Northern Lincolnshire business leaders.

He heard about a recent meeting between the Chamber and LNER in York, which took over the Virgin franchise, and how when their brand new fleet of trains enter service later this year, they will be running six services a day up to Lincoln. It was suggested that it would be an easy win for at least one or two of those services to be extended up to Grimsby and Cleethorpes, reconnecting the towns with direct rail travel to London for the first time in 30 years.

The Minister promised to speak with LNER’s managing director David Horne, and get his team to look seriously at what could be done, recognising the economic benefits such a service would bring to Northern Lincolnshire. The Minister agreed rail services needed to be looked at.