Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport rail service saved

A First TransPennine Express service to Manchester Airport.
A First TransPennine Express service to Manchester Airport.
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CAMPAIGNERS have won their battle to ensure direct services between Cleethorpes and Manchester Airport continue beyond 2016.

A Government consultation document published over the summer suggested the service could be scrapped in the new rail franchises covering local services in the region.

But the area’s business community argued the hourly service was crucial and mounted a vociferous campaign to ensure it is maintained.

And yesterday Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin confirmed it will be saved.

Responding to a question from Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers in the Commons, Mr McLoughlin said: “I am pleased to say today that after consideration of the responses to our consultation on the northern and transpennine express franchises we have decided to retain the Cleethorpes services within the transpennine express franchise.

“The forthcoming invitation tender for the TPE franchise will specify that direct services between Cleethorpes and Manchester Airport should continue.”

Mr McLoughlin paid tribute to the campaign waged by Mr Vickers and others on the matter.

Lord Haskins, chairman of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “It’s great news. The LEP has lobbied hard for this and it is testimony to the strength of the partnership between our MPs, councils, local businesses and communities working together.

“Not to have had a direct link from conurbations in the north to a major growth area like the south bank of the Humber would have been a blow to the overall pace of economic development and a disincentive to both investors and potential employees.”