MP Debbie Abrahams slams proposed peak time gaps in train service

Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, with her concerns over planned train timetable changes.

Debbie Abrahams MP

She has demanded Mr Grayling intervene to overturn proposals that will create up to a 44-minute gap on the Huddersfield to Manchester line at the busiest times of the day.

Mrs Abrahams’ letter also raised the issue of the lack of direct travel to Ashton-Under-Lyne, Manchester Victoria, Salford Central and beyond in these proposals, pointing out this will add considerable time on to the journeys that people have to make to work.

She said: “Many of my constituents have built their whole working lifestyle around the current timetable.

“If these changes go ahead the new service will do little to take peak times into account, creating up to a 44-minute wait between trains at two of the busiest times of the day which is ridiculous.”

The proposed peak time trains from Greenfield to Manchester Piccadilly are: 06:46, 07:29, 07:45, and 08:29.

Mrs Abrahams added: “If these proposals are implemented the 08:29 train will get my constituents into Piccadilly at 08:58 which will be of little use unless they work at the station.

“Currently there is a train at 08:04 but this change will mean constituents have to leave 20 minutes earlier, get on a busier train and some will have their child caring and other morning routines greatly disrupted.”

The proposed peak time trains from Manchester Piccadilly to Greenfield are: 16:17, 17:02, 17:18, 18:01.

Mrs Abrahams said: “The 17:18 will be made incredibly busy by these changes. This is a service which is already uncomfortably full at peak times and this proposed timetable will only exacerbate the situation.”

She added: “I’ve told Chris Grayling that some of my constituents work in the Spinningfields area of Manchester, Salford and Ashton and they are concerned about the impact the new timetable will have on their journeys to and from work.

“It is a five-minute walk from Salford Central to Spinningfields and this change to Piccadilly will turn it into a 25-minute walk.

“This, combined with the proposed timetable I have highlighted, will lead to even earlier starts and later finishes for my constituents.

“I’m deeply concerned by the extra pressure this proposed timetable will have on our already congested roads, plus the possible impact on constituents’ health.

“My final point was to say the proposals do little to tackle the ongoing issues with accessibility to Greenfield Station.

“I have previously written to the Department for Transport about the lack of step free access for those travelling from Manchester towards Huddersfield.

“It’s simply not good enough for my constituents including parents with prams, those using wheelchairs and those with mobility issues to be unable to access platform 2.”


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