Harborough rail users
Improving the quality of Market Harborough's rail service
Harborough MP Neil O’Brien and HRU Chair Steve Jones met with Paul Maynard MP, the Under Secretary of State for Rail, Accessibility and HS2, on 14th November at the Houses of Parliament. The meeting had been requested by Neil O'Brien to press the case for proper disabled access to be provided at the rebuilt Market Harborough station plus toilets on the new southbound platform. The Department for Transport's Planning and Investment Manager for the Midland Main Line was also present.
Rather than go in with a long shopping list, running the risk of everything being lost in the detail, we focused on these two items. However, the meeting also considered various aspects of the scheme, including the need for sufficient shelter on the platforms, and was very constructive. Though he is the 'Rail Minister', Paul Maynard acknowledged that he has no powers to direct Network Rail as it is an arm's-length relationship. However, he did undertake to write to them at senior level, supporting the case for proper disabled access and for toilets on the southbound side. There is also the possibility that the specification for the next franchise may be a means of seeking additional enhancements to the station. Franchise bids are assessed much more on quality than used to be the case.
A further meeting with the Department for Transport and Network Rail at the station is to be arranged. We hope that these enhancements to what is otherwise a great improvement at the station can be included. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring the station fully up to modern standards; let's not waste it! Watch this space!