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East Midlands Trains, working in partnership with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) and Yorkshire Forward, has today confirmed plans to introduce two trains an hour between Sheffield and London from Monday 14 December 2009. This marks a significant improvement from the current hourly service.
The introduction of these new services means that passengers travelling between Sheffield and London will have the benefit of an additional 24 trains throughout the day, providing greater choice and helping to improve the economic competitiveness of the Sheffield City region. With more trains available, and more seats than ever before, passengers will have much greater flexibility on when to make their trip. The substantially improved service will also benefit people travelling from Chesterfield too.
Tim Shoveller, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, explains: “We know that good connections to our capital are a key priority for any major city, and we have been determined to improve Sheffield’s train service to London. In our last major timetable change in December 2008, we launched significantly improved journey times between Sheffield and London. And now, one year on, we are proud that through genuine partnership working with SYPTE and Yorkshire Forward, we are collectively able to deliver this further major improvement for passengers.”
David Young, SYPTE’s Director of Customer Experience, said: “I am excited to welcome these new train services, which follow a number of years’ lobbying and prioritising funds to support this route as passenger numbers have increased. Despite being the country’s fourth largest city, Sheffield has lagged behind other major urban centres in having good links to London - this has held back economic growth. It is therefore vital for us to have secured an improved train service to London which will be a significant boost to the region’s economy. Sincere thanks go to Yorkshire Forward and East Midlands Trains for their help and support”.
Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Forward, said: “I am delighted that Yorkshire Forward funding has contributed to such a key milestone in the economic development of Sheffield. A twice-hourly service to London, and vice-versa, means that Sheffield will now be able to compete on a level playing field with other cities in the UK.
“Until now Sheffield has been the only major English city with just one hourly service to London, so investments like this one will provide a major shot in the arm for the city, creating jobs and boosting the economy. As well as the obvious financial benefit of twice as many Sheffield to London passengers using Sheffield station, we also expect to see an additional £2m-£3m being generated annually in the local economy in jobs and investment.”
Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis said: "I'm delighted that passengers will benefit from a more frequent service, with twice the number of trains running between Sheffield and London. This initiative is an excellent example of local agencies working with the train operator to improve services to meet local need."
Many of the new trains will also be calling at Chesterfield. Instead of the current hourly service, an additional 11 services will run from Sheffield to St. Pancras International with13 additional services from St. Pancras International to Sheffield on weekdays and Saturdays. East Midlands Trains offers some great value tickets, with prices starting from just £10 for a single ticket between Sheffield and St. Pancras International.
Today’s announcement will also bring a host of other benefits for travellers from Sheffield and Chesterfield. Services between Sheffield and Leicester will increase from one train an hour, to two an hour from 14 December, and services between Sheffield and Derby will increase to four per hour from the current three, making it much easier for passengers to travel to work or enjoy a trip to one of these two cities.
For further information about East Midlands Trains or to book train tickets, visit eastmidlandstrains.co.uk. Looking for a great value ticket? Then visit East Midlands Trains new online Best Fare Finder tool which compares ticket prices from multiple times of the day and days of the week on a single, easy to read page.