Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Lincoln has to be top Cathedral City...

The secret is out: Lincoln has been named as one of the country's most attractive cathedral cities by top travel guide Holiday Which.

The reputable magazine's team of writers praise the city as 'a great place to visit' in their latest issue, published today.

Their verdict provides the Lincolnshire Echo with a splash covering half their front page tonight - ironically below a promo tempting readers the chance to spend a penny to get away from Lincoln).


Lincoln is profiled alongside Chester, Derry, St Andrews, St Davids and Salisbury in a Holiday Which six-page special.

The Which? team highlighted Lincoln's historic links to the church, the Magna Carta and the English Civil War.

They lavished praise on the 'charming' uphill Bailgate area near and said Lincoln boasted one of the finest cathedrals in Europe.

All of which will hopefully boost tourism to Lincoln, which is all too often by-passed by visitors to Britain.

12 comments:

Samantha said...

When will the railway improvements be finished, so that visitors can get there? Do you know, Phil?

Brynley said...

Lincoln deserves its tourist accolade, but without the return of main line trains, it's hard to take Lincoln seriously in the Premier League of tourism.

Bruno (Skegness) said...

No trains from Lincoln to London. What is the government doing?

Geoffrey G Brooking said...

Actually, as much as I may be a critic of the railways these day especially as far as Central Trains are concerned a new franchise for a service linking Lincoln with London is due to be finalised this autumn.

The service will call at Peterborough, Spalding, Sleaford, Lincoln, Market Rasen and Cleethorpes and about time too.

Speaking of trains I say two inter city 125 trains running on the line that runs alongside Tritton Road in Lincoln on Sunday.

When I queried what was going on with a train spotter he told me that the train was on a diversion between Doncaster and Newark via Gainsborough and did not go into Lincoln station.

Just wish I'd had a picture phone or camera at the time.

Finally, I do agree that Lincoln does deserve far better overall.

For example, there is no service at all between Lincoln and Peterborough or Cleethorpes on a Sunday, the first service to Nottingham isn't until the afternoon and I believe the same is more or less the case on the Sheffield and Doncaster branch and even thats when they are not replaced by buses.

Brynley said...

Geoffrey, the new service to which you refer (which may or may not happen) is a laudable initiative, but is a slow, cross-country service, not a main line train.

An acceptable level of service has to be specified by government. Nobody else will do it.

Until then. Lincoln will miss out on the first rank of tourism. Why go to Lincoln when York is so well served by main line trains?

At some point, the kidding has to stop and the Minister has to deliver. Douglas Alexander (for it is he) has a good brain, but is idling in neutral as far as railway strategy is concerned.

Samantha said...

All of this is right, I think, but for me I'd just be happier with earlier trains to Lincoln and later trains back to Spalding - and buses to and from deeping that connect properly.

For tourists, through trains from the main line would be good, but I don't think they will mind if they come up this way rather than Newark, really, do you? Business people might, but it would still be quicker than driving from London; and it would give Sleaford and Spalding a London service, wouldn't it?

Brynley said...

Smantha, I agree.

The current limit between Spalding and Lincoln is the stretch of line between Spalding and Sleaford, which is open only for a single long shift.

Everyone agrees that it needs to be open from first thing in the morning to, at the very least, mid-evening.

Local leaders have failed to bang on about this enough. John Hayes for the Deepings, Douglas Hogg in Sleaford should be teaming up with the Lincoln MP and various local council leaders and demanding action.

There is still this idea that, if you do nothing, it will eventually get sorted.

Wrong.

If you do nothing, then nothing will happen and so it goes on.

I would like to see Church, Business leaders, voluntary organisations pitching in.

It will certainly be an election issue, because we will make it one by sheer force of argument.

Too many local leaders are sitting on their hands.

Brynley said...

Thinking about this one, I was reminded of a recent trip to Aberdeen.

As in Lincolnshire, much of the talk was about needed railway improvements.

The difference was that they had squeezed a realistic target date out of local leaders. Crossrail services for Aberdeen by 2014.

We are realists.

These things do take time.

But without a target date, the game of postpone everything can go on indefinitely.

How much longer can Lincoln play cinderella?

Funnily enough, the South Lincs politician who has shown a consistent interest in railway strategy is Tory Mark Horn.

There is some catching up to do.

Father Mark said...

I'm not sure what Church leaders can say. I'd be interested in advice, though.

Brynley said...

Father Mark, I guess this falls squarely in the pastoral side of your vocation.

You are not expected to stand on a soap box with a megaphone, but I believe that Church leaders can help shape a climate of opinion for the good.

A healthy community needs effective public transport.

As I say, we have some catching up to do and our secular leadership is self-evidently in need of some encouragement!

Mark said...

OK, Fair enough.

I have banged on about public transport a fair bit here - and I do have to go to Lincoln quite a lot and detest driving up the A15 and back. A complete waste of three hours! The train saves no travelleing time from Deeping but at least I can work on the train or just relax. We need an earlier start, a later finish, more reliable (and longer) trains.

This line has never been good: I thought privatisation was supposed to bring imaginative management into the railways. What a joke! I laugh every time I think about John Major .... :-)

Having said all of this here - what do I actually have to DO to get through to the political leadership?

Brynley said...

On your last question, I share your frustration.

My experience says that being very specific (as you are) is the only way to get them to pay any attention.

The adept use of elections, of the media and a certain unrelenting slog is what we have.

There may be allies in the City of Lincoln. It is clear that the business community in Lincoln is exercised about its branch line status (a recent demotion, in the scheme of things) and wants to move on this once the Lincoln City Centre rail relayings are completed.

The transport ministers are currently pretending that it's nothing to do with them, but this slightly ridiculous posture can't be maintained for long.

Keep up the good work.