Train passengers will no longer be able to travel between Oakham Railway Station and London if new proposals go ahead.
The proposals have been revealed as part of the Department for Transport’s (DFT) consultation on who will be the next operator for its Midland Mainline rail network, which comprises the lines from London’s St Pancras station via Leicester, Derby/Nottingham and Chesterfield.
There is currently a limited Intercity train service operating between Oakham and London.
The DFT is considering the prospect of its Intercity trains not stopping as often at stations used by commuters, such as Luton, to improve journey times between Sheffield (via Derby), Nottingham and London St Pancras. As an alternative, the DFT is proposing passengers are served by electric commuter trains operating on the Corby to London route.
The DFT states that as a result of operating electric trains between London and Corby, there could be a loss of direct services between London, Oakham and Melton Mowbray, as it has no plans to electrify beyond Corby.
The consultation, which started last month, runs until October 11, and the results will be used to decide whether East Midlands Trains or another provider will run the services from 2019.
The consultation document says: “We want to reduce journey times on Intercity services, which are longer during the peak hours compared with off-peak. We also want to give everyone a seat.
“At the moment all passengers on the Midland Main Line travel on the same intercity trains.
“This means that passengers travelling to London from South Yorkshire and the East Midlands have much longer journey times during the peak because Intercity trains also serve stations closer to London to pick up commuters.”
The DFT says there could be a number of benefits to the proposals going ahead such as “reduced journey times on the peak-time Intercity long distance services by up to 20 minutes.”
Martin Lester, who commutes from Oakham to London using the Intercity trains, has hit out at the proposals.
He said: “The service is very useful, it means you can get up to London at eight o’clock in the morning and do not have to change at Leicester.”
To take part in the consultation visit the bit.ly/east-midlands-consultation website.
Alternatively you can e-mail EastMidlandsfranchise2017@dft.gsi.gov.uk