Call made for rail operators to introduce later trains to Berwick

Rail campaigners have issued a fresh call for a better late-night train service to Berwick.

Thursday, 7th February 2019, 2:40 pm
Berwick Railway Station

They believe it would make the town a more attractive place to live in and commute from, providing a much-needed economic boost.

Coun Georgina Hill, county councillor for Berwick East, led the call at a public meeting organised by Berwick Regeneration Commission to discuss rail connectivity.

“The simple message from us for what we need in Berwick for our residents, for tourism, and for commuters is later trains back from Edinburgh and from the south,” she said.

“The last train back from Edinburgh is 9pm during the week and 8pm on a Saturday and that causes problems for us as we try to promote Berwick as a good option as a commuter town, for residents wanting to go to football matches or to the theatre and for promoting tourism.

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“Berwick is an ideal place for people to stay for visiting the Edinburgh Festival when that’s jam-packed because it’s a 45-minute journey but obviously it’s not a very good option when the last train is 9pm or 8pm on a Saturday.”

She also called for improved connectivity within Northumberland, pointing out that there is only one train after lunch from Morpeth to Berwick.

“If you’re a resident of Berwick and want to get the train to work, perhaps at County Hall in Morpeth, you can’t do it,” she said.

“It’s creating barriers for the town and for its economic prosperity and that’s the clear message from us in Berwick.”

She added: “I have commuted for many years and rail companies have spoken to commuters to ask what we want. We say ‘later trains’ but nothing has been done for many years. We will keep repeating that message.”

Dennis Fancett, chairman of South East Northumberland Rail Users Group, added; “An 8pm last service on a Saturday night is totally ridiculous.”