London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has begun an eight-week public consultation to seek views on its proposed significant timetable change and uplift from May 2022.
LNER’s proposed new timetable builds on over a decade of planning and investment in LNER’s new Azuma trains and Network Rail’s modernisation of the East Coast’s tracks.
It aims to support the economies and communities along its East Coast route, providing more services, more seats and reduced journey times and high levels of reliability on long distance services between London, the north of England and Scotland, as an even more sustainable alternative to air and road.
The timetable will see LNER’s five trains per hour into and out of London King’s Cross increase to six, enabling the introduction of new, faster services throughout the day.
There will be 39 additional LNER services per weekday and many more at the weekend too. London-Edinburgh services will be around 15 minutes faster with up to 1,500 more seats per day, each way; and London to Newcastle services will be around 10 minutes faster, with up to 7,500 more seats per day, each way.
By adding extra capacity to and from York, LNER is also putting in a building block for a regular Middlesbrough service once local infrastructure work is complete.
The proposed May 2022 timetable has been developed by Network Rail with all train and freight operators on the East Coast Main Line.
It has involved balancing long-distance, high-speed, regional and local services, alongside the needs of the rail freight sector.
It is based on investment into the East Coast Main Line as well as decisions by the rail regulator in 2016 on how the route’s finite capacity is to be used and the consultation on our predecessor franchise.
The public consultation is open until 5 August 2021 to seek the views on the proposed timetable.
David Horne, LNER Managing Director, said: “Our new consultation gives us the opportunity to hear the views of our customers and communities across LNER’s route on the proposed improvements we’d like to make from next May, including faster services and more seats between London, York Newcastle and Edinburgh.
“We are confident of the future of long-distance rail travel on the East Coast route and that, by delivering to our customers the full benefit of our new trains and upgraded tracks, we can help level-up and connect the country, protect the environment and support our communities and destinations.”
A dedicated website– www.lner.co.uk/Timetable2022–went live on 11 June, where people are able to find lots of information explaining the improvements proposed, including what the changes mean for each station that LNER serves.
The website includes a simple survey for people to give their views.In the weeks following the consultation, LNER will publish a report on what it heard and any changes the company will seek to make in response from May 2022 or later timetable changes.
Photo credit: LNER