Latest Rail News

28.07.17

East Midlands Airport offers £2.5m fund to boost station connections

East Midlands Airport has today offered details of a £2.5m deal designed to improve station services as part of the next franchise in the region.

The airport has said that it wants to put the cash into transforming services at its nearby station, East Midlands Parkway, by increasing the frequencies of trains and implementing better timetabling.

Though the £22.5m East Midlands Parkway station was only opened in 2009, there can be a 45-minute delay for passengers travelling to London, as its two-hourly services are scheduled within seven minutes of each other.

To rectify this, the airport has proposed new services to Coventry, Nuneaton and Birmingham from Nottingham to stop at the station, and it has also suggested an extension of current services serving Stoke-on-Trent to the station.

The airport’s £2.5m Rail Enhancement Package will also request the renaming of the station to East Midlands Airport Parkway and will include providing high-quality, reliable transport between the airport and the station.

A letter has been written to every MP serving the area to set out the full details of the fund’s aspirations.

“Over the course of the next East Midlands rail franchise the airport will double the amount of people flying from here, triple the amount of cargo we handle and have three times more people working onsite,” said Andy Cliffe, the airport’s managing director.

“To ensure that people can access these opportunities we need better rail links to the airport, including new links to areas such as Coventry, Nuneaton and Birmingham as well as more frequent services to Derby, Leicester and Nottingham.”

Cliffe added that the DfT had made it clear in its consultation documents that the government is committed to improving links to the airport, and that the £2.5m package shows how committed the airport is to these improvements.

“The package will deliver improved customer service, direct links between the station and our terminal, provide a better service for our local community and help people access the thousands of jobs we will create during this franchise,” he concluded.

The franchise’s latest consultation runs until 11 October and can be accessed here.

Top Image: Matt Buck

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Comments

Graham Nalty   28/07/2017 at 12:33

After the depressing news about cancelling electrification north of Kettering, here is a breath of fresh air when East Midlands Airport say they want direct through trains to Birmingham, Stoke, Coventry and Nuneaton. Having a change of train when catching a flight does not encourage motorists out of their cars. I am pleased to read that they envisage high quality reliable transport between the station and airport. Well done.

Jaz   29/07/2017 at 16:50

The parkway station and car park are excellent. However, the transport to the airport from the parkway is ridiculously expensive and patchy even when pre-booked. I've used it twice but will not do so again unless it becomes comparable with Luton or Birmingham - both being excellent

Andrew Gwilt   29/07/2017 at 21:43

Whilst at London Luton Airport. 30 miles from Central London. There are plans to connect Luton Airport Parkway railway station and Luton Airport main terminal with a brand new "Airline" Transit Light Rail that is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2020 and will end the shuttle bus services as the journey from the "parkway" railway station to the main terminal takes about 8-10 minutes depending on the traffic heading to/from the airport. The new light rail transit will take roughly 5 minutes and will be non-stop between the station and the main terminal at Luton Airport.

Roger Capel   31/07/2017 at 07:48

As Jaz rightly says, transfer from East Midlands Parkway to the airport is way overpriced. Competition from Kinch's (part of Trent-Barton) "Skylink" bus, running 24 hours a day from Derby, Loughborough & Leicester isn't going away. Lots of my fellow railwaymen use it to go on hols!

J, Leicester   31/07/2017 at 10:14

East Midlands Parkway has always been a white elephant since it opened - passenger usage figures are paltry, and that's largely due to awful connectivity between the station and the airport itself. As others have alluded to, service is patchy, with the local councils refusing to boost bus service provision to the station as the business case isn't there. It's a vicious cycle - no connecting services mean nobody uses the station, which means no business case to introduce new connecting services, either to the airport or elsewhere on the rail network. There are next to no taxis in the rank 95% of the time either, because they get no custom, so you have to privately hire one to have any hope of being picked up. In fact, the only reliable connecting services at the station are long-distance services like Megabus, which don't even serve the airport and treat it as a minor stop-off along the M1 corridor! Worth noting, too, that the councils in question are holding out for Ratcliffe Power Station to close to allow major development on the site adjacent to the station, but that's not going to happen until 2026 at the earliest, with many suggestions it could remain in use as a biomass-burning station, a la Drax. So in other words, their "business case" for future passenger growth is based on a pipedream assumption that they probably know is never going to happen, but makes them look more competent rather than admitting that they have no prospect of providing real growth-based support for the station. As such, for the foreseeable future it will remain an oversized commuter halt for a handful of people from Kegworth to trundle to Nottingham and Leicester from. This is a step in the right direction, but it's typical that the airport itself has had to foot the bill because local government has refused to back a station they asked for in the first place. It's endemic in this part of the world, I'm afraid, and I'd be very angry if I was on the East Midlands Airport board to have had to endure the sheer lack of faith in the operation shown from the three nearby counties.

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