Rise in East Coast services to Dunbar considered

The East Coast service, which is now run by Virgin Trains, may increase services to Dunbar. Picture: PA
The East Coast service, which is now run by Virgin Trains, may increase services to Dunbar. Picture: PA
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TRANSPORT Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is understood to be considering increasing the East Coast mainline rail services to Dunbar after hearing representations today.

The move comes after the Stagecoach and Virgin consortium took over the running of the line which runs between Kings Cross and Edinburgh this week amid concerns that that Dunbar has not been properly recognised in the agreement.

David Roach, who is the Tory East Lothian candidate, brought the issue to Mr McLoughlin immediately ahead of the transport secretary’s meeting with Virgin boss Richard Branson.

Currently only four mainline services stop at Dunbar, and only one of those is from Kings Cross London.

Mr Roach pointed out local concerns that the failure to increase services did not recognise an expected population growth in East Lothian of 39 per cent between 2010 and 2035 bringing it up to almost 130,000.

He said: “East Lothian is growing at a rapid rate, and I am pleased that Patrick McLoughlin will listen to our concern that Stagecoach and Virgin meet the needs of local rail passengers.

“The new consortium will recognise that a commercial case can be put together to provide more frequent services, a benefit to them, and ‘lost train users’ currently unable to use the service”.

Mr McLoughlin made it clear he is considering altering the franchise arrangements.

He said: “David makes a strong case for increased rail services to and from Dunbar. I am happy to support him in his efforts to push the new operators to provide more regular services.”

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