Lockerbie train services return welcomed

THERE will be an increase in train services from Lockerbie early next month, it was confirmed last night.

The news emerged during a virtual meeting between Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell and the acting managing director of TransPennine Liz Collins.

Mr Mundell has been lobbying the train operator and the UK Transport Minister over a series of service failings involving cancellations, timetable issues and punctuality over a lengthy period prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since then, like all rail companies, TransPennine Express services have been limited with strict social distancing on board trains.

In the briefing, Ms Collins told Mr Mundell that from July 6, the services from Lockerbie will be increased to 85 per cent of those on the normal timetable.

The rail boss also revealed that 95 per cent of their trains ran on time in recent weeks, a standard they hoped to maintain or improve on -- even after rail traffic returned to normal levels.

Mr Mundell welcomed the assurances and stated Liz Collins had offered meetings on a regular basis so he could monitor progress.

He said: "It was a productive discussion and I emphasised how important it was that the momentum was maintained even when rail services increase to normal levels.

"These trains have been running on time when empty. What we need to ensure is that they will run on time once we move back to full passenger capacity.

"Lockerbie Station, on the main West Coast Line, is vital to not only to the local community but also the economy of the wider region."