GREENFIELD Rail Action Group (GRAG) is determined to keep fighting for improvements to local services despite the considerable changes and challenges caused the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since March, travellers have been discouraged from travelling by public transport to work or for leisure purposes – meaning previously overcrowded trains are now almost empty carriages.
GRAG had to consider whether there was a need for the group at all – after discussions and a virtual meeting, an emphatic ‘yes’ was the reply.
Mark Ashmore, Chair of GRAG, said: “Although the scene has changed considerably due to Covid, the need for the rail group has in no way decreased.
“Since its formation nearly 10 years ago, the group has built meaningful relationships with providers and these need to continue in order to maintain and improve the service at Greenfield station.”
At the virtual group meeting the following aims were endorsed:
- The trans-Pennine line is the most important rail link between North-West England, Yorkshire and the North-East. The long promised full electrification of the line through Greenfield needs urgent delivery if the levelling-up agenda of the government is to be achieved
- Continued liaison with the rail groups at Mossley, Marsden and Slaithwaite to ensure all the groups are working to the same agenda
- Continued liaison with the train operating companies, Trans-Pennine Express and Northern
- Continued campaigning for a half-hourly service throughout the day and restoration of the direct link to Manchester Victoria
- Continued liaison with Transport for Greater Manchester, Transport for the North and similar bodies
- Full disabled access at Greenfield Station
- Support Diggle residents campaigning for a new local station
- Cheaper train fares between West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester by removing the ‘tunnel tax’ which massively increases cross-boundary fares
- Air Quality Control and Climate Change – As well as campaigning for electrification this includes improving connectivity between bus and train. These links worked well until earlier this year when the Transport for Greater Manchester changed local bus routes ending the excellent connection timings at Greenfield station.