Gainsborough MP doesn't want to see 'some bean counter in the Treasury' stopping train service plans
Rumours of a return to action for a direct train route from Cleethorpes to London have been rumbling under the surface for years now — some 30 years after it was taken out of service.
The route was axed back in 1992, but campaigns from local residents and numerous Members of Parliament have seen this project closer than ever to a return — with suggestions in late 2023 that the service could even be up and running by May 2024.
The proposed new route for this direct service will see the trains pass through Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Market Rasen, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed last year that some £2.5 billion of regional transport connection funding would be shared in North Lincolnshire and beyond.
Rail operator LNER also conducted preliminary tests along the proposed route last year, though it was stressed that these were still early stages.
Progress has now reached such a level that Sir Edward Leigh (Conservative), MP for Gainsborough, told the House of Commons that a transport minister had approved the service coming back, and was now awaiting confirmation from the Treasury.
Sir Edward said: “If later this morning you were to get a train from Market Rasen to London, not only would you be hit by a hefty rail fare, which we all know about, but worse it would take you over three hours with two changes.
“My honourable friend has promised me and my honourable friend from Cleethorpes [Martin Vickers MP] again and again that he’s going to give us our through train to London.
“I understand that he has now approved it, so he can confirm that today, but it’s held up on the desk of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury [Laura Trott MP].
“We don’t want some bean counter in the Treasury stopping our train.”
Mr Vickers said a launch date for the service was dependent on the Treasury approval.
The Department for Transport has been contacted for further comment.