TransPennine 'taking express' out of rail service

Hull Paragon Station
Image caption Business leaders have accused TransPennine Express of downgrading services between Hull and Manchester

Business leaders have accused rail firm TransPennine Express of downgrading services between Hull and Manchester.

Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce is calling on TransPennine to look again at its Hull services and timetabling.

It said from May the operator's timetable would include stops at more stations, meaning journey times increasing by up to eight minutes.

TransPennine said its "timetable developments will enhance connectivity to and from Hull".

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David Hooper, from the Chamber of Commerce, said: "It is not an express service any more and we feel it is taking the 'express' out of TransPennine rail."

He said in contrast services between Scarborough and Liverpool would be 22 minutes quicker, and Newcastle to Liverpool would be 26 minutes quicker.

"These changes are highly detrimental to rail travel along the trans-Pennine corridor and fly in the face of the stated aims of Transport for the North, to create a Liverpool to Hull corridor of power," added Mr Hooper.

The chamber has written to Leo Goodwin, managing director of TransPennine Express, inviting him to a meeting in Hull to explain his company's downgrading of Hull's rail links to a "stopping service".

In a statement, TransPennine said: "Stopping at additional stations in West Yorkshire will enable the capacity of the route to become more reliable."

It said the majority of passengers on the route travelled between Hull and Leeds, which was unaffected by the proposed changes.

The firm said it has offered to meet with Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce, and is "still open to discussions on this matter."

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