“Absolutely dreadful” is the assessment by MP Debbie Abrahams of on-going train delays and cancellations after the introduction of a new timetable in May.
And she has vowed to maintain pressure on rail companies and the Government to make improvements in the wake of the chaos.
Mrs Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, was speaking on her fourth visit to Greenfield station – the last remaining station in Oldham – since the changes came into place.
An emergency timetable was introduced in July to try to ease the problems which have included delayed or cancelled services, route changes and driver shortages.
The MP was joined at the station by members and supporters of the Saddleworth and Lees Labour group to hand out leaflets and demonstrate against poor rail services.
The leaflets say ‘The Tories are failing to stand up for millions passengers’ and claim Labour will bring capped fares, better and more reliable services, and investment in the railways.
Mrs Abrahams, recently back on her feet after a recent hip operation, continued: “People are absolutely fed up. I have heard from a lot of people about the troubles they are having.
“I made my first visit here after the new timetable and then went to see Chris Grayling (Secretary of State for Transport) and said things needed to improve.
“I came back after a couple of weeks and they hadn’t – and that is still the case.
“People are making big life choices because of these changes. It’s affected their work, their child care and their family lives.
“The new timetable is absolutely dreadful and things need to get better and I’ll keep pushing for that. The services are not fit for purpose at the moment.
“There is lot more that needs to be done and if it isn’t, it needs to be sorted in house.”
At their Full Council meeting in July, Oldham Council voted unanimously to work with local groups to campaign for longer term improvements in rail services and pledge its support for campaigns for greater investment and increased powers for TfN to provide a rail service for Oldham, and the north west, which meets local needs and is managed in the north.
They also resolved to ask representatives on TfGM to push for a revised timetable which provides stability and reliability, access improvements and increased investment in rail services.
Rail action group SHURG is also adding their voice, responding to TfN’s approach about TPE’s Class 185 trains and asking for an extra stop on stopping services.