East Coast train timetable changes ‘bad news’

TIMETABLE changes to introduce more rail services on the East Coast Main Line actually leave Hertfordshire passengers worse off.

Rail operator East Coast has added 19 new services each weekday, and an improved frequency and pattern of services.

Currently, Herts passengers can catch a train from Stevenage to destinations including Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

But the revisions, which come into effect in May, will axe direct services from Stevenage to Edinburgh. The nine current services to Newcastle will be reduced to two.

WGC borough and county councillor Malcolm Cowan, the Lib Dem group’s transport spokesman, said: “These changes are disastrous for business travellers and families alike. No-one wants unnecessary changes of train, least of all at unlikely places like Newark.

“Residents will need to allow more time for their journey.”

An East Coast spokesman said original proposals would have seen a reduction of five services a day from Stevenage. However, after consultation, the operator added 18 more services.

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He added: “Very few people travel directly from Stevenage to Newcastle and Scotland with that journey accounting for just 0.02 per cent of the 19 million journeys made each year on East Coast services.”