LEP calls for better connectivity in rail franchise consultation

THE Humber LEP is urging the Secretary of State for Transport to keep and improve links between the Humber and Manchester.

The LEP added its voice to keep the direct train service from Cleethorpes to Manchester as part of the Transpennine and Northern franchise consultations in a letter to the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP.

Also raised is the need for a direct service between Hull and Manchester Airport to be restored. If a half hourly service was agreed it would be worth £5.3m to the Humber economy and relieve congestion on the roads.

The LEP’s response supported the responses of its four local authorities – East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Hull City Council and North Lincolnshire Council jointly with North East Lincolnshire Council.

Lord Haskins, chair of the Humber LEP, said: “The links between Cleethorpes and Manchester must be maintained and the links between Hull and Manchester Airport restored.

“The Humber economy is gathering momentum with some major investments announced and more with in the pipeline it is essential that investment in transport connectivity keeps pace with this.”

The outcome of the franchise consultations could have a huge impact on the Humber and its ability to maximise the opportunities created by investment, the LEP said.

The LEP has helped to secure financial support for the next stage of the electrification of the Hull to Selby line and gauge improvements to the South Humber Ports as part of the Humber Growth Deal, and said it would like to see more commitment in the future such as electrification on the South Bank of the Humber.

Better rolling stock and welcoming the proposal to increase below-average fares were also part of the Humber’s letter to the government.

Haskins added: “We must make sure that decisions made about the franchises build on the good work being done in partnership here rather than detract from them.

“This chance to have our say is very important and we expect to have meetings to further discuss the needs of the region as part of the UK’s busiest ports complex, which is likely to see continued inward investment.”