The weekend of the East Coast train diversions was a momentous weekend for Spalding joint line.
Not only was it the first time the new East Coast Virgin service was using this line but there has been much controversy over how much delay it would cause in the level crossings being closed when up to 100 trains were to pass through each day over the weekend for five weeks. If you went to the station on Saturday you would have seen how much interest there was with a considerable amount of media present.
It is our intention to hold a public meeting before the end of the period to gauge what was good and what was bad.
The initial reports I received from a number of the Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum’s committee who also attended, was that despite many trains coming through there had been little disruption to traffic at the main level crossings.
Maybe this was because it was a Saturday and the publicity around the diversion made people think of going around a different way.
I wonder how we would cope if there was a considerable number of trains using the line.
It also does bring into question what kind of service do we want to see on the joint line now the speed restrictions have been lifted. We know that the service between Peterborough and Lincoln is not fit for purpose in some regards with the earliest time you can arrive in Lincoln being 10am and the last train back is 4pm and no Sunday service.
Not good for working people who have now to travel by car to be able to have a work routine or for students wanting weekend leave. Maybe East Midland trains on their next franchise bid in 2017 will give consideration to improving the service as was promised.
We did have a successful weekend service on both a Saturday and Sunday and I would like to see a pilot scheme to enhance on it and prove viable as we do have two cathedral cities that have their shops open seven days a week now.
We will have to wait and see what the next five weekends bring but it is our intention to hold a public meeting before the end of the period to gauge what was good and what was bad.
A thought should also be given to those people living next to the line when this is happening as, combined with the freight trains now using the line, this is a big imposition on their lives.