To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that Wellingborough Station becomes the interchange hub for intercity trains traveling north.
12 March 2018
The Government and rail industry are investing in the biggest improvement in rail travel since the Victorian era, including through the upgrade of the Midland Main Line. This programme will improve rail journeys for passengers using the Midland Main Line to travel to and from London St Pancras. Once electrification of the Midland Main Line to Corby is complete in 2020, passengers at Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton and Luton Airport Parkway will benefit from a new, dedicated, fast commuter service into London St Pancras. The electric trains will be longer, with more seats.
All options for rail services in the next East Midlands rail franchise are subject to analysis of the potential benefits and our consultation with stakeholders, which closed on 11 October 2017. Northbound connectivity on Midland Main Line intercity services was raised as a particular concern in the public consultation. On the basis of that feedback we are reviewing the proposed stopping patterns to attempt to maintain as many of those journey opportunities as possible.
No decisions have yet been made on rail services that will be specified for the next franchise. The next franchise is planned to start in August 2019. Invitations to Tender are due to be issued to potential bidders later this year. The ITT will set out the minimum requirements and provide the baseline that we expect the next franchise to build on.