No response from Northern on 50% rail service cut to Gatley

by Iain Roberts on 15 May, 2018

Following shock news that Northern (Arriva) are imposing a 50% cut in peak train services from Gatley to Manchester, the Lib Dem team wrote to Northern asking for an explanation.

Over a week later, we have not received a reply. We have now written to Mayor Andy Burnham, the Head of TfGM and Stockport Council asking for their help getting us the answers we need.

Peak services from Northern are being halved, with just one an hour. TransPennine will also run services through Gatley, meaning an overall cut from 6 trains to 4 at the peak morning period of 7am to 9am.

Here is our email to Andy Burnham:

Dear Andy,

My residents in Gatley have been shocked by the new Northern timetable which has cut morning peak services from Gatley to Manchester by 50%.

Currently there are six trains between 7am and 9am going into Manchester Piccadilly. From next week that reduces to four. This is after a period of several years where passenger numbers at Gatley have greatly increased.

I wrote to Northern over a week ago asking for an explanation of the rationale behind this cut to our service. As yet I’ve had no reply.

I note that TfGM appears to have not been consulted about the changes, but simply informed of the high-points after the decision had been made (and a month later than originally promised).

These are the questions I have put to Northern – any help you can give to get me a response would be gratefully received.

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?

Update: Since we posted this story we’ve had responses from Northern, TfGM and Stockport Council. They’ve all said different things and we’re working to figure out the facts. We should have more to report next week. On top of that, you’ve probably seen that Northern/Arriva are under pressure following leaked emails. The emails suggest they are cancelling services the day before but not telling the public until just beforehand, then claiming it was a last-minute thing.


9 Responses

  1. Paul West says:

    I have just checked trains from Gatley to the Airport. The one due at Gatley at 0931 was expected to arrive there at 0952, 21 minutes late. The next train from Gatley to the airport is scheduled to arrive at 1054 (a gap of 1 hour 23 minutes) but at the moment is simply showing delayed. Are these delays just teething problems or a sign of things to come for Gatley residents?

  2. John Ellis says:

    If passenger numbers at Gatley are rising, surely this is an argument for more trains, not less. Proof of a broken model methinks.

  3. Paul says:

    Whenever i use the train to manchester, gatley always has more passangers getting on going and off coming back than east didsbury does, yet east didsbury has more trains under the new timetable than gatley. It doesnt make any sense.

  4. John H says:

    And we are told to use public transport!

  5. Alan says:

    All this beggars belief since they have only just won the franchise. I can’t believe that the terms of the franchise allow them to actually cut services

  6. Roy says:

    Let the residents of Cheadle and Gatley cut the amount we pay via our council taxes to TFGM.
    Manchester airport is activicly discouraging car use and at the same time instead of improving rail services to the airport they are being reduced, so much for our Mayor

  7. Andrew says:

    Let’s see how Monday goes but I am quite concerned. Especially coming back from Manchester. All the trains are travelling beyond Piccadilly so the chance for delays and cancellations are much greater than before. Combine that with fewer trains. If the 8.22 am train is cancelled the next one isn’t until 9.06. So not much chance for people to get into work on time. This is supposed to be a service. And we need to get people off the roads, not encourage them to drive. The point about East Disdsbury is correct as they also have choice of tram or frequent buses.

  8. Nigel Martin says:

    Well Iain no trains to Manchester at 7.05 or 7.47am brilliant start to the week for those who use the train!
    We need a response from Northern rail

  9. Nigel Martin says:

    Iain 07.07 cancelled this morning worse than yesterday when it was 20mins late.who can sort this mess out?

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