Fears that rail shake-up could hit Norfolk economy

A proposed shake-up could see the end to direct trains between Norwich and Liverpool. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA A proposed shake-up could see the end to direct trains between Norwich and Liverpool. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA

Monday, July 28, 2014
12:08 PM

Norfolk’s economy would be dealt a blow if proposals to stop direct trains between Norwich and Liverpool go ahead, councillors have claimed.

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The government last month launched a consultation to shake up train franchises in the north of England.

One of the proposals would see the Norwich to Liverpool service, currently operated by East Midlands Trains, changed.

The consultation seeks views on transferring the Nottingham to Liverpool portion of the Norwich to Liverpool service to the TransPennine Express franchise.

If that happens, then one of the effects would be that there would no longer be a direct train service between Norwich and Liverpool. Instead, passengers would have to change at Nottingham.

And, at a meeting of Norfolk County Council’s economic development subcommittee today, councillors expressed their concerns over that change.

Councillors agreed the authority should write to rail bosses to urge them to think again.

In its response, the council will say: “This service provides a crucial national east-west link connecting Norfolk with major locations including Peterborough, Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool.

“We understand that 350,000 passengers a year travel through Nottingham on the Liverpool-Norwich trains, about 8pc of the route total.

“This is considered to be a fairly high number of people, and not the “relatively small amount of cross-Nottingham traffic” as described in the consultation.

“In addition, passenger journeys and passenger satisfaction have increased on the route, and punctuality improved (currently 92% of trains are on time).

“Given the performance of the route, the numbers of passengers travelling through Nottingham and the importance of the direct east-west connection we do not support a split.

“In addition, we believe that there is further potential to be realised from the direct Norwich to Liverpool service as a direct east-west link.”

■ Would you be affected if the direct link between Norwich and Liverpool was axed? Tell us your views by writing to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

16 comments

  • P.S. - talking of nationalisation, British Rail and Barbara Castle were responsible for closing most of Norfolk's railways. The Beeching Report left lines such as Kings Lynn to March, Kings Lynn to Hunstanton and Kings Lynn to Norwich open, only to have them closed by the aforementioned!

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    Norfolk and Good

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  • @Harry Rabanowitz - I hate to tell you this, but there's currently record investment going into the railways, so there's no need to renationalise it! Network Rail is spending most of the money, and Network Rail is publicly owned anyway. Take a look around - currently under construction is Crossrail at £15 billion, Great Western Main Line electrification and brand new fleet of trains, Midland Main Line electrification and new fleet of trains, East Coast capacity enhancements and new fleet of trains, Thameslink upgrade and new fleet of trains, Transpennine electrification and new trains, new lines opening all over the country, etc etc etc. The problem is that if you live in Norfolk you won't see many upgrades for several years, except for a doubling of services from Kings Lynn to Kings Cross.

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    Norfolk and Good

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  • The Norfolk economy has never recovered from the wholesale closure of branch lines in the 60's,in a county of fifth rate roads rail links were vital! As for today massive investment needs to be made to sort the railways out, but this cannot work without bringing them back into public ownership. Other countries look upon their railways with national pride,we regard them as a national joke,an attitude that explains a lot against the backdrop of British economic decline!

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    Harry Rabinowitz

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • A nice picture, but when did East Midlands Trains introduce the Class 222 on the Norwich - Liverpool services. We can only hope!

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    Port Watcher

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • Apologies, the current service would be 5 minutes slower than if I got off at Peterborough and went via Leeds.

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    Ginger75

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • I actually use this service every few months to travel tofrom Manchester. After comparing times, changes and costs the current service is apparently 5 minutes faster though this would require me making 2 changes in all and is slightly more expensive. Keeping the current service would be nice though changing trains at Nottingham (as long as there is a half decent time to get from one train to the other) wouldn't be an issue for me.

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    Ginger75

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • Who wants to go to Liverpool? Not even football fans this season.

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    Bruce87

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • I went on one of those trains from Norwich to Liverpool last year. Dreadful journey. Very overcrowded. Much better to go via London.

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    Disgusted of Norwich South

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • "Norfolk’s economy would be dealt a blow if proposals to stop direct trains.....2 Once again, no evidence to support this.

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    "V"

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • LOL at the picture of the swish class 222 East Midlands train rather than the naff class 158 trains that actually run the route. I have been making the commute to Liverpool and it's quicker by an hour to go via London....even though it's much further in miles. London to Liverpool is 2:20 yet it's the same distance as Norwich to Liverpool which is closer to 6:00! Scrap the direct service if you can't make it better!

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    KeithS

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • It would be far better for Norfolk's economy if there were direct rail services from Norwich to places like Fakenham, Dereham, Swaffham, and Kings Lynn Hunstanton!

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    Citizen of EUSSR

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • Look at the plus side. No direct connection between Liverpool and Norfolk!

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    BG

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • What a load of rubbish our councillors speak. So what if you have to change trains? Most train journeys involve a change of trains somewhere - try getting a direct train from Norwich to Leeds, York, Derby, Newcastle, Leicester, Birmingham etc etc etc - you can't! The Norwich to Liverpool service is so slow that it's quicker to change trains anyway. Just do a search for Peterborough to Sheffield, Manchester or Liverpool and it routes you via Doncaster or Leeds rather than using this "direct" service because it's much faster to do this. I'm sure our councillors mean well, but they are totally wrong on this one.

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    Norfolk and Good

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • Maybe they can sort out the fares at the same time, fares are so confusing and they don't need to be. just have one fare and leave it at that rather than have fares that change depending on how long before your trip you buy you ticket, such an unfair fare system.

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    parkeg1

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • So the council don't like the idea of people changing trains at Nottingham but it is ok for the NDR to go to nowhere. I do agree with council on this one - train journeys should be easy and not involve unnecessary changes. The easier a journey is the more likely people will use the train - less cars on road.

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    jennifer jane

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • Time to put all rail services back into public ownership. Only certain people make gains from all these changes, the Franchise owner ! What will the end result be of these changes, oh increased fares.

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    che bramley

    Monday, July 28, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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