At a top level meeting with executives at East Coast local MP Andrew Jones was updated by East Coast Chief Executive Elaine Holt on the success of the new evening London to Harrogate train service.
The new train service was launched at the end of May following discussions between East Coast, Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce and Andrew Jones. It was the first time in 25 years that a direct train service from London to Harrogate had run.
The service has seen consistently good numbers using it with passenger growth rising by 7 per cent since May’s launch, during which time nearly 3,000 more journeys compared to the same period last year.
And the useage figures have been so encouraging that East Coast has announced that the service will be continued into their new timetable.
Commenting following the meeting, Mr Jones said:
Good transport links are an important part of ensuring a vibrant local economy. And in these difficult times we need to secure every advantage we can for this area. That is why this service is so important to us. I never doubted that it would be a successful service and I am grateful to East Coast for including the service in its new timetable.
Chairman of East Coast Elaine Holt said:
Earlier this year, I met with Andrew Jones and other stakeholders in Harrogate. They presented a good case for East Coast to introduce direct services from London to Harrogate for the first time in more than 20 years.
I was delighted that we were able to make this happen seven days a week, when we introduced our new timetable in May 2011, and for the warm welcome we received from people in Harrogate when our first service arrived into the town on 23 May.
I’m pleased to say that passenger growth for our Harrogate market has grown by 7 per cent since the seamless launch of our new timetable, with nearly 3,000 extra journeys made compared to the same time last year.
We need to continue to grow this market and look forward to working with Andrew to further improve our services for people in Harrogate and those wishing to visit or do business in this fantastic town.