Direct Rail Services

Transport – in the House of Commons on 2nd July 2020.

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Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

If he will introduce a direct service between Cleethorpes and London through Market Rasen.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department for Transport)

I recognise and pay tribute to my right hon. Friend’s campaign. He has raised this issue with me on a number of occasions. London North Eastern Railway and Network Rail continue to assess how the service could operate.

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

I apologise to the Minister for banging on about this, and so do my hon. Friends the Members for Cleethorpes (Martin Vickers) and for Great Grimsby (Lia Nici), but we are talking about a catchment area of 100,000 people with no direct train to London. LNER, which we own, is prepared to give us our direct train for just £1 million, which compares with the £80 billion-plus we are spending on HS2. So we beg the Minister to do this for Lincolnshire, and we promise that if he gives us our train, we will make him an honorary yellowbelly.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department for Transport)

That would indeed be a great honour. Before a final decision can be taken, we need to review a business case from LNER. Sadly, some of the surveys have been delayed because of coronavirus, but they will be taking place later this summer. I am happy to commit to writing to my right hon. Friend setting out the schedule for that work, and to keeping him and his colleagues updated.