Rail campaigners call for more members to help them secure local improvements

A RESOLUTE rail action group which has secured numerous improvements to local services is seeking more members to help continue their work.

Formed more than four years ago, Greenfield Rail Action Group (GRAG) aims to improve frequency and quality of services between Huddersfield and Manchester.

The group is currently 40-strong but includes members from Slaithwaite and Ashton and is looking to grow so they can push harder for more changes to services.

P7 Mark Ashmore SHRUG
GRAG Chair: Mark Ashmore

Their main aims include securing better and longer trains at Greenfield and direct trains to Manchester Victoria, Manchester Piccadilly and Leeds.

So far they have successfully campaigned for a second First TransPennine Express each hour stopping at Stalybridge and an earlier first morning train from Greenfield to Manchester Victoria.

GRAG chair Mark Ashmore said: “The more people we have in the group the stronger the voice.”

Royce Franklin, GRAG’s secretary, added: “We want to increase our numbers because the more members we have the louder the voice.

“The hope is more people will take note of our message – a better service along the line.”

GRAG was dismayed to learn recently the electrification of the line was to be indefinitely ‘paused’.

The postponement means there are now no plans to cope with the forecasted growth in passenger numbers and is likely to result in a prolonged skip-stop service into Manchester Piccadilly, rather than Victoria station.

Mark added: “The ‘pause’ has highlighted once again the irrationality of having six short trains per hour between Manchester and Leeds.

“If there were four longer trains this would allow our stopping service to Manchester Victoria, Salford and beyond to continue.”

The group say there is insufficient capacity for any additional trains until electrification is completed or one of the old tunnels under Standedge is reopened.

And GRAG is currently contacting local MPs with constituencies along the line to put pressure on Government and the Department for Transport.

They want to set up a meeting to discuss issues around the electrification and services and make sure they recognise how passengers use Greenfield station for work, shopping and leisure.

Anyone interested in joining GRAG is welcome to attend their monthly meetings on the second Wednesday of every month at 7.30pm in the Civic Hall, Uppermill. Their next meeting is on August 12.

Further information can be obtained from Royce Franklin by email: royce.franklin1@btinternet.com


One Reply to “Rail campaigners call for more members to help them secure local improvements”

  1. The trains should of been left how they were with the first one being 6.51am the 6.37am is constantly 3/4 minutes late everyday. This change meant 6 months of unbelievable delays.

    As long as Transpennine have a route through, there is nothing Northern Rail can do. Personally I’d scrap the pathetic Northern Rail carriages and there seemingly clueless service, and have a similar Transpennine service that uses the existing route. At least then you’ve got better facilities.

    I’d rather go to Piccadilly as Victoria is a joke. Gormless staff, platform alterations at the last minute.

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