Consultation launched on Great Northern timetable plans

Launch of new trains at King's Lynn Railway Station
Launch of new trains at King's Lynn Railway Station

A new round of public consultations has been launched on proposed new timetables to and from West Norfolk.

Passengers are being encouraged to have their say on the latest Great Northern plans, which look at late night and weekend travel.

But anyone hoping for a change of heart on the prospect of longer journey times is likely to be disappointed as the plans follow a similar pattern to the weekday proposals published earlier this year.

However, officials say they are standardising services in order to make the timetable easier for passengers to follow.

At present, there are 20 trains from Lynn to London King’s Cross on Saturdays and 16 on Sundays. However, the new proposals would see one late evening service cut, terminating in Cambridge instead.

But Great Northern say the timetable will allow passengers to catch a connecting service from there to London, while evening services will be made quicker by the introduction of a standard timetable throughout the day.

At present, evening services call at a number of intermediate stations between Cambridge and London, which can add up to 20 minutes to journey times.

A Great Northern spokesman said yesterday: “Our proposed timetable improvements will give passengers a later train on Saturday night from King’s Lynn and a journey time that actually brings them into London earlier than the last train does today.

“Journeys after 6pm are also quicker and the timetable has been standardised making it, we hope, easier to follow.”

However, the overall timetable follows the pattern set by the company’s weekday proposals that will see daytime journeys take around 10 minutes longer than they do now.

Although the move was severely criticised when it was first outlined in the summer, Great Northern maintains it is necessary to improve performance and enable trains to stop for long enough at the new Cambridge North station, which opened in the spring.

Passengers can have their say on the proposals by visiting www.transformingrail.com. The consultation will run until noon on Wednesday, December 20.

Meanwhile, Great Northern says it plans to release its final weekday timetables in the new year.