This morning, I had the chance to speak to the Friends of Woodsmoor Station about their campaign against Northern Rail’s timetable changes, and to speak to commuters who would be affected by them.
It was great to see their petition has already gathered so many signatures, and I encourage everyone who relies on both Davenport and Woodsmoor stations to keep an eye out for it and sign! I have written to and am currently awaiting a response from Northern Rail. I will update residents when I receive a reply, and in the meantime will continue to support local campaigns against these changes.
I am very concerned about the proposed reduction in services from Davenport and Woodsmoor train stations.
These two stations are increasingly used by commuters and particularly the growing population of young professionals in Davenport and Woodsmoor.
The proposed changes in service will see a reduced number of trains at peak periods, with only five trains before 9.00am, as opposed to eight at the moment. These services will also be at irregular intervals with two trains 15 minutes apart and then a gap of 45 minutes until the next train.
Furthermore, the proposed timetable would mean the already reduced service would no longer stop at Manchester Oxford Road or Salford Crescent. People who work in Manchester or Salford city centre who regularly use these stations to get to and from their place of work, would be forced to make the unnecessary and time-wasting journey to Manchester Piccadilly.
It can already be difficult to find a seat on a train at peak times and I am very concerned that reducing the number of trains which people can board at peak times will worsen this situation.
I have urged Northern Rail to reconsider these plans, and over the coming weeks I will be working with residents and friends groups of both stations to see what action we can take as a community to stop these proposed changes.
Update - 27/06/2017
Having written to Northern Rail last week, I received a letter explaining that the proposed timetable changes were as a result of an error in the system, that the missing calls would be added in, and that Northern would ensure the timetable achieves the Train Service Requirement (TSR) set out in their franchise agreement.
However, Davenport and Woodsmoor stations currently operate at a level above TSR, and speaking to local residents I know that concerns remain. I will continue to seek clarity on this, supporting residents and commuters in Davenport and Woodsmoor and pressing for further improvements to services.