Bruce seeks East Coast rail assurance

Sir Malcolm Bruce MP
Sir Malcolm Bruce MP

GORDON MP Sir Malcolm Bruce is seeking assurances from the UK and Scottish Governments that the East Coast Mainline franchise will ensure trains continue to travel between Aberdeen and London.

The UK Government recently unveiled its long-term plans for rail franchising and announced the immediate launch of the competition for the East Coast franchise. The route provides a direct link between cities including Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Newcastle and London.

It is currently directly operated after National Express surrendered the franchise in 2009. The new franchisee will carry its first passengers by February, 2015.

Sir Malcolm has written to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Scotland’s Transport Minister Keith Brown asking them to work together to ensure that the through service between Aberdeen and London is preserved.

He said: “There has been an unprecedented increase in demand for rail services in the North-east in recent years.

“It is important that we capitalise on this opportunity and ensure that passengers have more options in future, not fewer.

“That is why I have contacted both the UK and Scottish Governments to stress that it is essential that Scottish cities like Aberdeen continue to benefit from direct services to England.”