Iain challenges Northern Rail over timetable changes

by Iain Roberts on 7 May, 2018

Cllr Iain Roberts has written to Northern Rail over the timetable changes which will see a poorer service at stations along the Manchester Airport line. We will report back when Iain gets a reply.

Dear Sir/Madam

I am concerned about the new (and not formerly announced) timetable changes and their effects on Gatley Station and the other stations between Piccadilly and Manchester Airport.

I note that the number of trains from Gatley into Manchester between 7am and 9am falls from 6 to 4. I understand that all trains will now go via platforms 13/14 in Piccadilly, and that there are fewer train from Gatley to East Didsbury or from Gatley to Heald Green.

As far as I am aware, none of these changes have been properly consulted on with councillors, residents or Gatley rail users, none have been officially announced.

Please can someone let me know the answers to the following questions:

1. What consultation was done with rail users, residents and elected representatives in Gatley prior to the changes?

2. What is the rationale behind the changes?

3. Given that rail user numbers at Gatley have increased hugely in the last decade, why have the number of peak services to Manchester been cut?

4. When is the next review of the timetable and what will Northern Rail commit to doing to ensure Gatley rail users have their say before any decisions are made?

Thank you,

Cllr Iain Roberts


5 Responses

  1. David says:

    As a rail user I think this is really critical. And surely this reduction in peak services goes against every initiative to encourage us to get out of our cars and onto public transport. How do I raise my concerns with Northern?

  2. Chris G says:

    Hi Ian
    Another question you may like to raise is the ticket machine at Gatley station. Perfect if going into the city centre but a nightmare if going to the airport as I often do, heavily laden with luggage. The only option is to drag the luggage to the northbound side, buy a ticket and then make your way back to the south side. When carrying luggage this is unacceptable!!!!. If they can’t afford another ticket machine on the south side, why can’t they at least install one that issues a “proof of boarding” ticket as they do at Heald Green. The fare can then be paid at the final destination.

    • Alan says:

      I would appreciate an answer as to what position they would take if you were to travel from Gatley to the airport and due to your luggage you couldn’t get to the other platform to get a ticket?

      After all we are constantly reminded not to leave our luggage unattended which would appear to be the other option.

      Also would you mind asking exactly which law we would be breaking we’re we to get on a train without a ticket as per the posters around the network. I’ve spoken to a number of solicitor friends and they are not aware of any such law in the English legal framework.

      • Iain Roberts says:

        Hi Alan – agree 100%. We raised that issue a couple of weeks ago and again have not had any reply. Having a ticket machine on Platform 2 should be possible. I’ll let you know when we hear back.

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