The Government have repeatedly pointed out that if we are to improve the local economy and extend growth, we will need greater transport connectivity. The Humber region has the largest port complex in the country and it is developing the offshore renewables sector. Calls for regular direct services are supported by business and industry, the chamber of commerce and the two local enterprise partnerships to which the local authorities belong.
Two years ago, GNER lodged an application with the regulator to operate four daily trains between Cleethorpes, Grimsby and King’s Cross via Scunthorpe and Doncaster. I recognise the need to regulate capacity on a network that is already overcrowded, but I question whether the rules and regulations that govern the regulator actually work in the best interests of passengers. Perhaps they work more to protect the market share of the train operating companies, I shall continue to press the Government to approve this vital transport link to our area.
I have had multiple discussions with Richard McClean, Managing Director of Grand Central, who is in the process of launching an application for Grand Central to operate trains from Cleethorpes to London, via Doncaster. I strongly support this application and would encourage businesses and individuals to contact the Office the Rail and Road (the rail regulator) in support when the application is formally made.
The business community in Cleethorpes and the wider region are strongly in favour of a direct rail service. I recently met Adam Fowler and Ian Kelly of Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce who pledged their support.