As rail bosses disclose their newest plans, a key train link is going to be axed.
Despite campaigners’ efforts to persuade transport executives to revise their plans, Southport and West Lancashire will lose a train link to Manchester Piccadilly.
The consultation on new railway timetables issued by Transport for the North and its partners earlier this year enraged many when all three plans abolished the service that operates between Southport, Burscough, Parbold, and Piccadilly or Manchester Airport.
The service had only recently been resumed after a previous cancellation, and the ideas enraged MPs from both parties as well as rail campaigners.
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Following the first round of consultation, a new option known as “B+” has been proposed, which includes an hourly service between Southport, Wigan, and Manchester Oxford Road, but stops short of calls for the service to reach Piccadilly and beyond.
The hourly service from Southport to Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge will be maintained as well.
Rosie Cooper, a West Lancashire MP, was among those who had asked for the services to be preserved and improved, and she promised to keep fighting when the current plans were revealed.
“Those with good rail services get more, those without get less!” she stated. When they claim “top leaders have agreed,” they’re referring to the Metropolitan Mayors getting more for their larger, already well-served districts. It’s a pity because leveling up appears to imply that huge gets bigger while little gets forgotten.
“I will keep campaigning until West Lancashire has the much-needed enhanced rail connectivity.”
Rail officials said that the core of a new timetable for rail services in and around Manchester has been approved for December 2022, claiming that it will cut service delays by 25% and improve punctuality and journey times for local passengers.
The timeline is the result of a lengthy public engagement that began in January 2021 and attempts to eliminate a number of service bottlenecks. The Manchester Recovery Task Force, which includes the Department of Transport, Transport for the North, Transport for Greater Manchester, Network Rail, and train operators Northern and TransPennine Express, collaborated on the report.
Local perspectives, they claim, have also been reflected in. “The summary has come to an end.”