Faster trains announced between Nottingham and Leeds
Nottinghamshire County Council has welcomed the news that train journey times between Nottingham and Leeds will be significantly cut.
This follows an announcement by the Department for Transport (DfT) that Arriva has secured the Northern Rail Franchise from April 2016 which includes the services between Nottingham and Leeds and the east to west service between Sheffield and Lincoln via Worksop and Retford.
The County Council has been pressing for improvements to both routes for several years.
When the DfT published the Invitation to Tender and related specification for the franchise in March – which any company bidding to run the line had to meet – it included several significant enhancements for which the Council has been campaigning.
Coun Steve Calvert, vice-chairman of the Council’s Transport and Highways Committee said: “We are understandably delighted that all our hard work has paid off and that we can take credit for the increase in speed on the Nottingham to Leeds service. We have been campaigning hard for years to secure improvements to both services and are keen that people across Nottinghamshire get the rail service they deserve.
“The Nottingham to Leeds through service was introduced seven years ago after our campaigning and this is upgrade is testament to its success.”
Under the new franchise, Arriva has committed to reducing journey times on the Nottingham to Leeds route from the end of 2019 by 20 mins – from 2 hours to one hour 40 minutes which it will achieve by re-routing and faster acceleration of new trains.
Brand new 100 mph trains will be introduced on the service from December 2019, or sooner if the company can get them built and delivered by an earlier date.
The new trains will have Wi-Fi throughout and more carriages.
“In terms of the Nottingham to Leeds route, the significant cut in journey times will be a massive boost for economic development and improve the traveller experience, transforming the route into an express service between the powerhouses of the East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside, stopping at fewer stations,” Coun Calvert added.
“The longer trains with more seats will reduce overcrowding and cater for future growth.
“We are also pleased that the express route will be extended on to Bradford with a train every hour, providing the city with a direct link to Nottingham.”