First TransPennine Express is to run extra services and cut journey times between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.

The positive move is a result of the increasing popularity of the services and a timetable change which will come into effect on Sunday 14th December.

The improvements will see an extra two services in each direction between Manchester and Edinburgh. On Saturdays there will be an additional service in each direction between Manchester Airport and Edinburgh. An additional two services will also run between Glasgow and Manchester/Manchester Airport.

Journey times for several services linking Glasgow and Edinburgh with Manchester will be cut by up to 20 minutes.

Vernon Barker, managing director of First TransPennine Express, said: "We are introducing more services with a better range of departure times throughout the day and cutting journey times. This is particularly good news for business travellers as we are introducing an extra early morning and evening service."

Since First TransPennine Express started to run services to and from Scotland a year ago it has seen an 83% growth in passenger journeys from Glasgow/Edinburgh to Manchester Airport.

Iain Duff, chief economist and policy manager at the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, says: "The new services will be especially useful to Scottish business as they will allow a good day's work in Manchester while still being able to return home to Scotland afterwards.

"Increased connectivity to Manchester Airport is also extremely helpful. The provision of more high quality services to important destinations such as Manchester and its Airport are crucial in helping Scottish business to compete effectively and improve our productivity, particularly given the current economic circumstances.

"The existing First TransPennine Express services are proving to be extremely popular and these additions to the timetable will, I'm sure, also go down very well with the Scottish business passenger."

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