Harborough rail users
Improving the quality of Market Harborough's rail service
The Rail Minister, Andrew Jones MP, visited Market Harborough station on 27th June. He was on his way to Leicester to meet regional transport agency Midlands Connect to receive their Business Case for the ‘Midlands Rail Hub’ programme of rail investments. He took the opportunity to stop off at Market Harborough and view our station. Harborough MP Neil O'Brien was also there, plus representatives of Network Rail, East Midlands Trains and the Leicester & Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).
HRU Chair Steve Jones was invited to meet the Minister, and we spoke about the major improvements already made but also the need for additional enhancements to accessibility, cycle parking, toilets and platform canopies. Electrification was also mentioned, along with the planned new rolling stock. The Minister is plainly enthusiastic about the investment going into the railway nationally and it was good to have the opportunity to meet him and discuss local rail issues with him. The picture shows the Minister being interviewed by local radio station HfM.
A full press release from the Department for Transport can be viewed at www.gov.uk/government/news/53-million-line-upgrade-to-help-make-midlands-railways-fit-for-the-future.
Sir Vince Cable, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, arrived at Market Harborough by train on Thursday 6th December for a 'question time' engagement in the town. Harborough Rail Users were invited to meet him at the station, to discuss the rebuilding of the station and the associated concerns about accessibility. We showed him what is happening, and explained the additional facilities we are campaigning for. His train from St Pancras was one of the non-stop HSTs, which gave us the opportunity to tell him about the campaign to save the half-hourly train service when the East Midlands franchise was first set up in 2006-7. It is an interesting example of a local community-led campaign achieving something that surpassed even its own ambitions, as we never anticipated an hourly non-stop service to and from London!