Rail campaigners meet transport secretary to demand improvements

GREENFIELD station is ranked 2,607th out of 2,616 stations for performance, a national survey has found.

Greenfield Train Station

Now, rail campaigners have met with the government’s Secretary of State for Transport to highlight ongoing issues with all local services.

Representatives of rail user groups on the Manchester to Huddersfield line met with Chris Grayling as well as Andrew James, Rail Minister and MP for Harrogate, at the House of Commons on December 5.

They spoke about the effects the poor services, particularly since a timetable change last year, are having on people’s lives and to challenge them to take strong action to rectify the situation.

The meeting was also attended by Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, Jonathon Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge and Mossley, and Chris Roberts of Rail North Partnership.

The representatives gave examples of how bad the local train services are for service reliability, with Mossley and Slaithwaite in the bottom two places.

They added that in the 12 weeks to December 4, of trains arriving on time there were only eight per cent at Greenfield, nine per cent at Marsden and four per cent at Mossley and Slaithwaite.

And in the same period, trains cancelled were four per cent at Greenfield, four per cent at Marsden, five per cent at Mossley and six per cent at Slaithwaite.

They said this has affected people getting to and from work, additional road traffic, and some people have even considered moving house or changing jobs, or had been disciplined by employers for lateness.

Mr Grayling said it was completely unacceptable on an hourly service for two consecutive services should be cancelled, causing a three-hour gap.

He added the recently announced £3 billion rail investment for the north would help the trans-Pennine route, but he could not say how and where the money would be spent.

He promised to instruct a day-to-day investigation into the operation of ther North trans-Pennine rail route and would report back once it is completed.

David Hampson, representing Greenfield Rail Action Group (GRAG) and the Stalybridge to Huddersfield Rail User Group (SHRUG) said the “meeting was certainly more constructive than I had expected”.

“Chris Grayling’s promise of an urgent investigation, by the Independent Trouble Shooter, into the chaos is a welcome step forward, but only time will tell.”

Mrs Abrahams added: “I first contacted Mr Grayling with my concerns around the proposed timetable changes in November 2017, but he ignored them.

“I met with him in June and he promised improvements in weeks, but months later passengers are still receiving an appalling service. 

“It was important for this meeting to take place and give local commuters the chance to let Chris Grayling know directly how their lives have been affected by the appalling service provided.”

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