Improved rail services to and from Scarborough 'crucial' for hospital patients

Delays to rail improvements will have an impact on hospital patients.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 1:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 1:55 pm
Campaigners are calling for better train services to and from Scarborough.

That’s the view of campaigners calling for better train services to and from Scarborough.

Last week, The Scarborough News revealed how improvements meant to be brought in in the next few weeks have been pushed back yet again.

Rail company Northern, currently running the line between Scarborough and Hull, has delayed the introduction of a new hourly service to and from York, while TransPennine Express has withdrawn its brand new five-carriage trains due to a software fault.

Hotelier James Hodgson warned that “unless the business community comes together to do something about this, we will be left behind” and highlighted how frequent delays and cancellations have a knock-on effect on tourism and the local economy.

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NHS supporter John Wane, a spokesperson for the ‘Save Scarborough Hospital’ Facebook group, said: “People travelling to York and beyond for appointments are bound to be affected.

“We’re already seeing people having to stay in York or Hull overnight because they either have an appointment in the morning and can’t get there on time, or in the evening and can’t get home.

“I know a lady whose husband is a patient at York because the stroke service is no longer available in Scarborough. She has to stay in York five days a week to be close to him and she’s getting into financial difficulties. It’s terrible, on top of all the stress they’re already going through.”

With services being transferred to York, added Mr Wane, an increasing number of people find themselves having to travel. An improved rail service is therefore “crucial”.

According to Northern, the long-awaited half-hourly service between Scarborough and York is now scheduled to come in in May 2020.

TransPennine Express, whose services have been consistently delayed or cancelled in the past month, have apologised for the inconvenience caused, adding that disruption was partly due to an “accelerated training programme” for drivers and conductors ahead of the roll out of their new fleet “in the coming weeks”.