Highways & Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member – Minutes – 18 September 2012

97 (14) CONSULTATION: INTER CITY EAST COAST RAIL SERVICESThe Director of Places submitted an urgent reportseeking approval of the council’s response to the Department for Transport (DfT) consultation on services to be provided by a new operator of the Inter City East Coast (ICEC) rail service, commencing in 2013.

The matter was urgent in order that the Department for Transport deadline for a response to the consultation of 18 September 2012 could be met.

The East Coast Main Line ran from London Kings Cross to Peterborough, Newark, Doncaster, York, Newcastle, and on to Scotland. There was also a frequent service to Leeds, branching from the main line at Doncaster.  ICEC trains did not serve any station in North Lincolnshire.  The area was reliant on connections at Doncaster and Newark.

Like most passenger rail services, ICEC would be franchised to a commercial train company. The DfT specified the service provided.  Operators competed to offer either the highest premium payment to the Government or the lowest subsidy. 

The current ICEC franchise expired in December 2013. The process to find a new operator would start in October 2012. The DfT had asked councils for their views about services over the next 10 – 12 years. This was about overall objectives and principles rather than a discussion about a specific timetable.

The council’s draft response formed Appendix 1 to the report.  It was not likely that ICEC trains would serve any North Lincolnshire station before 2019. From that date, new InterCity Express Programme (IEP) trains would be available. Some IEP trains would have both diesel and electric power. Potentially, they could serve places away from the main line. This could include Scunthorpe and Barnetby. The council’s response stressed the importance of doing this.

Resolved – That the council’s response, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, for forwarding to the Department of Transport, be approved.