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18.06.15

ORR to decide on Alliance Rail open access application this summer

A decision from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) on a new open access service between London and Cleethorpes will be made the summer, the prime-minister has said.

The ORR has been considering the application for a new operation the East Coast Main Line from Alliance Rail, a subsidiary of Arriva, for over a year.

The Alliance Rail proposal, which would be operated under the banner of Great North Eastern Railway (GNER), is for four services a day between London King’s Cross and Cleethorpes, stopping at Doncaster, Scunthorpe, Habrough and Grimsby.

Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers recently raised the issue during Prime Minister's Questions.

He said: "If Northern Lincolnshire is to obtain maximum benefit from the northern powerhouse initiative, further improvements to transport connections will be required."

Vickers specifically mentioned the application from Alliance Rail and asked the prime-minister when a decision could be expected.

David Cameron has now written to the MP in response to his query. While he stressed the independent nature of the regulator, Cameron added: "I know the ORR are keen to finalise decisions on these applications, and I understand that they currently hope to do so over the summer."

Alliance Rail had proposals to run services on the West Coast Main Line rejected by the ORR in January for six off-peak services between London and Blackpool.

Last week RTM reported that FirstGroup met with the ORR to present detailed plans for its own open access service on the East Coast Main Line

The group submitted a formal track access rights application to the ORR in March for a service that consists of five trains each way a day between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh, via Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth and with journey times of approximately four hours.

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