Petition against north Northamptonshire rail changes attracts 5,000 signatures

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A petition against plans to radically change train services in the north of the county has reached 5,000 signatures.

The ‘Save Our Trains’ petition opposes a proposal to end direct intercity trains for Luton, Luton Airport, Bedford, Wellingborough, Melton Mowbray and Oakham.

Plans are also on the table for a reduced service between Leicester and Kettering.

If the proposals go ahead, passengers travelling north from Wellingborough will have to change on to the reduced service at Kettering.

The petition also opposes the decision to scrap the electrification of the line north of Kettering.

The plans could also see journey times increase because of slower trains and lines.

UKIP MEP for the East Midlands Jonathan Bullock says the plans make no sense.

He said: “This logic is flawed – electrification of these lines, which includes Midland Mainline (operated by East Midlands Trains), in my own constituency, would benefit commuters enormously.

“The decision to scrap those plans makes little or no sense, while the Government continues to spend eye-watering sums on HS2, which is purely a vanity project.

“There is little point in connecting different parts of the UK to the Continental train system if local projects wither and die.

“The suspicion must be that money is being maintained for the blue riband HS2 project, at the expense of medium and small-scale projects of greater urgency.

“Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said he also wants to invest in ‘bi-mode’ trains, which can switch between diesel and electric, while at the same time continuing a policy of hammering diesel car drivers.

“I live near to Kettering and bi-mode trains will be used on the new East Midlands franchise, thus leading to the plan to electrify the line north from Kettering being scrapped.”

A consultation event will take place in Kettering on Wednesday (September 13) from 2pm to 4pm at the Kettering Conference Centre in Thurston Drive.

The consultation runs until October 11 and can be viewed here.

To sign the petition, click here.