On Thursday, 26 February, Lincoln’s Member of Parliament, Karl McCartney MP, welcomed the Minister of State for Transport and fellow Lincolnshire Member of Parliament, Rt Hon John Hayes MP, to his City of Lincoln Constituency.
The pair viewed the East-West Link Road site and discussed the decision of Network Rail and Virgin East Coast to divert trains off the mainline and through Lincoln over the next four to six weekends.
Karl McCartney MP said: “I was pleased that Rt Hon John Hayes MP, visited Lincoln Station on Thursday so I could show him the small scale works to lengthen Platform One which would assist the direct service to London due to the length of trains. I also emphasised that whilst we would like to see some extra services, certainly on Fridays and the weekends during this year, the opportunities with the Lindongate and other improvements to the City Centre and to cross country services would make Lincoln a more desirable rail-heading destination.
“I also updated the Minister as I had complained to him that during maintenance works intercity trains are diverted through Lincoln but do not stop at our Station. Instead they create major traffic and pedestrian congestion at all our level crossings. In short, my constituents have all the pain and no gain.
“Despite speaking to Network Rail’s Senior Management about this, they continue to keep their head in the sand. Nevertheless, I was pleased to hear from my colleague John Hayes that he had a meeting in the latter half of last week where he reinforced the views of Lincolnshire’s Members of Parliament and has ensured a communication protocol is now in place for the County MPs and Network Rail's maintenance department.
“I have again asked the service providers and Network Rail why my constituents wishing to travel to and from London directly cannot do so on any of the extra services coming through Lincoln, but instead must travel to and from Grantham. I am still awaiting a satisfactory answer.”
The Minister of State for Transport, Rt Hon John Hayes MP, said: “Karl McCartney has once again shown what an outstanding champion of local people he is. He has made a strong case for improvements which has made a great impression on me.”