East Midlands Rail Franchise

Department for Transport written question – answered on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bradshaw Lord Bradshaw Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are their reasons for splitting the trains on the Norwich to Liverpool rail service at Nottingham; what assessment they have made of the impact of this arrangement on passenger numbers on this service; and what consultation they undertook with passenger groups prior to this change.

Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The reasons for the in-principle decision to split this service were explained in the East Midlands Franchising Stakeholder Briefing Document published in June 2018. The benefits principally arise from being able to recognise the completely different characteristics and patronage levels of the services either side of Nottingham (87% of journeys are now within the Liverpool – Nottingham section) and then being able to develop the service offer accordingly, rather than simply perpetuating the linking of two separate services undertaken in the 1980s when the railway and its markets were very different.

No quantified assessment of the impact on passenger numbers has been made but will form part of the final implementation decision. However, we expect that the improved focus on the two different markets either side of Nottingham, together with improved reliability that splitting should bring, to grow passenger numbers overall.

This change was consulted on as part of the East Midlands re-franchising process in July – August 2017 which received 2,300 responses and featured several public meetings including in Liverpool, Nottingham and Norwich.

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