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Kettering Rail Service

Volume 624: debated on Thursday 30 March 2017

14. If he will use the forthcoming franchise renewal process for the midland main line to reinstate the half-hourly service northward from Kettering. (909587)

As my hon. Friend has just heard, the train timetable options for the new east midlands franchise are still under development. Once it is complete and we have reviewed the responses to the public consultation, we will have a much better idea of what we want the bidders to deliver against. This will clearly include significant improvements, where possible to services to and from Kettering.

This relates to the junction between the suburban service out of St Pancras to Corby and the midland main line service from St Pancras to Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield. The connectivity from Kettering northward was halved by the last Labour Government to one train per hour. Will the Minister make it one of his top priorities to reinstate the half-hourly service northward?

My hon. Friend and I have already discussed at some length the opportunities to improve services from Kettering, and everyone in the House knows what a doughty campaigner he is for his constituency. I am sure that I will be reminded time and again of these issues. A sixth path is being created on the route, and I look forward to seeing how the consultation recommends that it be best deployed. I am sure that Kettering will feature heavily in those submissions.