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Speculation is taking place about whether a direct rail link between Grimsby and London can be achieved. The Budget is thought to be aiming at levelling up the north south divide.
With HS2 grabbing huge headlines at £360 million a mile of new infrastructure, all involved sense a real possibility of extending the run of the LNER service up from Lincoln - with first and last trains targeted initially.
Key constituency MPs Lia Nici, Martin Vickers and Edward Leigh (Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Market Rasen) signed off a letter initiated by Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, with the business organisation having worked alongside key regulatory stakeholders to return a vital link between Grimsby and London not seen for nearly 30 years.
Now a response is awaited, with March 11’s budget seen as offering potential for a signal of intent from the government.
The service could then start in December this year or May next, potentially terminating at Cleethorpes.
Updating during the Chamber’s AGM, Dr Ian Kelly, chief executive paid tribute to the work of external affairs manager David Hooper, on the “most interesting lobby issue” of the year.
He said: “The Chamber, with Alan Johnson (former Hull West and Hessle MP) and Hull City Council, got us the Hull Trains service a decade or so ago and now we have been working with LNER, the Department for Transport and Transport for the North, garnering their support as well in terms of getting that direct service on a probationary basis - departing early and coming back to Grimsby on an evening.
“If that works it may become more regular - just as we started off with Hull. If there is demand then that would be a great addition, especially as Grimsby has got the Town Deal, the regeneration partnership led by David Ross.
The role of the Energy Estuary, enhanced ports and logistics and the continued growth of the major seafood players are seen as drivers - with Phillips 66 Refinery alone requiring 800 journeys a year. The Phillips 66 Humber Refinery has a crude oil processing capacity of 221,000 barrels per day. Crude oil processed at the refinery is supplied primarily from the North Sea and includes lower-cost, acidic crudes. Humber is one of the most complex refineries in the Phillips 66 portfolio and one of the most sophisticated in Europe. It is a fully integrated refinery that produces light products and fuel oil.
It would also be a huge boost to inward investment, with the work on the South Humber Industrial Investment Programme continuing.
A study by North East Lincolnshire’s regeneration partner Engie is also being finalised, outlining demand.
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This article first appeared on www.focustransport.org
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