Rail campaigners want slice of £500m pot for improved northbound service from Corby

The group says there's scope for better services from Corby to Derby, Melton and Oakham

Monday, 8th June 2020, 7:00 am
David Fursdon has been a rail campaigner in Corby for many years

People in Corby have appealed for the authorities to get behind a bid for £500m of government funding that could get northbound services from Corby on the right track.

Since Corby station was reopened nearly eleven years ago, there have only been four trains per day - or two return services - to and from the north.

Corby Business Group and Corby Rail Users say there is a great opportunity to improve the northerly service and have asked Corby Council and MP Tom Pursglove to help them bid for cash from the government's Restoring your Railways fund.

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A first round of funding to develop business cases was awarded earlier this year and now the second round is open for expressions of interest. But the campaigners cannot do it on their own - they need a public authority or an MP to act as a sponsor.

Corby Rail Users Group campaigner David Fursdon, who was instrumental in pressuring the government to reopen the Corby to London line a decade ago said: "We have the infastructure in place, track and signalling, we just need the political will and of course rolling stock to get this to happen.

"We have a Derby return service once a day and the Pie Train to Melton Mowbray and back but there's no reason why we shouldn't a better, more frequent service from Corby.

"So many people are now coming here to shop and use the facilities that it makes sense for them to get here by train.

"We'd really like to see the route served by two-hourly northern services to start with. It seems such a waste that we have all the track there but we're not making the most of it.

"It is now popular with passengers at Corby and they want better journey opportunities."

Corby station reopend in 2009 and has been instrumental in helping boost the town's regeneration.

A second track has since been reinstated to Kettering and electric trains are due to come into service from Corby to London in December 2020, with a new half-hourly service throughout the day.

David added: "I dont see why we should not push for this missing link. It can only bring more success for Corby in many ways after the popularity of Corby station reopening eleven years ago."

Corby Council are considering the approach and have been approached for comment.

Corby and East Northants MP Tom Pursglove told David that he would raise the issue with ministers in the coming weeks.