Lincoln to London route 'needs more trains' says council

East Coast train
Image caption East Coast currently runs only one train from Lincoln to London

More direct trains between Lincoln and London would boost the economy, Lincolnshire County Council has said.

The council has called for more trains in its response to proposed changes to the railways, including the East Coast Main Line franchise.

At the moment, there are only two direct trains a day from Lincoln to London and two coming back.

The council has already submitted a business case to the Department for Transport asking for improved services.

Chris Briggs, head of transportation at the council, said: "More regular trains, certainly one coming into Lincoln more early in the morning, would certainly help boost tourism.

"We do have a lot of businesses that rely on trading and contacts in London so the improvement to get more people to meetings or to go down to deliver presentations in London is important."

The trains from Lincoln to London are both in the morning, one operated by East Midlands Trains and the other by East Coast.

The return trains are both in the evening, and again one is operated by East Midlands Trains and the other by East Coast.

Talking to operators

The consultation for the East Coast franchise was launched just last week and the council has not yet responded.

"We will also be talking to the train operators that will be on the tender list for the franchise because I think it will be important to talk to those and to impress upon them the strong business case to put services to Lincoln," said Mr Briggs.

The county council submitted the business case before the consultation was launched.

The case is also supported by letters from stakeholders including Lincoln Business Improvement Group, the University of Lincoln and the City of Lincoln Council.

Mr Briggs said they have not been "too specific" in the business case about how many extra services the council would like.

"We certainly would like to see at the minimum four going down and four coming back, especially with an early one into Lincoln from London," he said.

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