Consultation on Northern and TransPennine express rail franchises

Response submitted as part of the consultation:
In consultation with other parish councillors, the comments of Riding Mill’s Parish Council are as follows:
  • The priority for Riding Mill is to have frequency and regularity of trains over upgrading of trains (although the last is important).
  • The more frequent the service, the more people will rely on it and use it. Fares going west from Riding Mill are high, discouraging use of that service. Reduction of fares might increase overall takings.
  • Trains will not be used if there is no suitable return train. The return service from Newcastle at weekends ends too early for it to be used for an evening event (2152 on Saturday and 2015 on Sunday).
  • Coordination of connections to other routes should be given greater consideration. For instance, coming from Scotland the last train from Edinburgh to Newcastle is 2100 arriving at 2244 after the last weekday train from Newcastle to Hexham at 2235.
  • Opening of Gilsland station should be a high priority to give direct train access to Hadrian’s Wall at a very attractive point.

Malcolm Reid, Chairman, Broomhaugh and Riding Parish Council