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Debbie slams proposed peak time gaps in service for Greenfield commuters

Reporter : Ruby Anstee

Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, demanding he intervene to overturn planned changes to train timetables that will create up to a 44 minute gap on the Huddersfield to Manchester line at the busiest times of the day.

Debbie’s letter also raised the issue of the lack of direct travel to Ashton-Under-Lyne, Manchester Victoria, Salford Central and beyond in these proposals, pointing out this will add considerable time on to the journeys that people have to make to work.

Debbie said: “Many of my constituents have built their whole working lifestyle around the current timetable.

“If these changes go ahead the new service will do little to take peak times into account, creating up to a 44 minute wait between trains at two of the busiest times of the day which is ridiculous.”

The proposed peak time trains from Greenfield to Manchester Piccadilly are: 06:46, 07:29, 07:45, 08:29.

Debbie added: “If these proposals are implemented the 08:29 train will get my constituents into Piccadilly at 08:58 which will be of little use unless they work at the station.

“Clearly there needs to be a service between 07:45 and 08:29. Currently there is a train at 08:04 but this change will mean constituents have to leave 20 minutes earlier, to get on a busier train and some will have their child caring and other morning routines greatly disrupted.”

The proposed peak time trains from Manchester Piccadilly to Greenfield are: 16:17, 17:02, 17:18, 18:01.

Commenting on the Piccadilly to Greenfield timetable Debbie said: “The 17:18 will be made incredibly busy by these changes. This is a service which is already uncomfortably full at peak times and this proposed timetable will only exacerbate the situation. The lack of a service between 17:18 and 18:01 will cost people quality time with their families.”
The current timetable has trains leaving Victoria at 17:11, 17:26 and 17:57.

Debbie said: “I’ve told Chris Grayling that some of my constituents work in the Spinningfields area of Manchester, Salford and Ashton and they are concerned about the impact that the new timetable will have on their journeys to and from work.

“It is a five minute walk from Salford Central to Spinningfields and this change to Piccadilly will turn it into a 25 minute walk. This combined with the prsaddleworth news ggloposed timetable I have highlighted will lead to even earlier starts and later finishes for my constituents.

“I’m deeply concerned by the extra pressure that this proposed timetable will have on our already congested roads. Plus the possible impact on constituents’ health, and the environment, caused by the pollution of those needing to drive to work; in the west of Manchester, Salford or Ashton.

“My final point was to say that the proposals do little to tackle the ongoing issues with accessibility to Greenfield Station. I have previously written to the Department for Transport about the lack of step free access for those travelling from Manchester towards Huddersfield.

“It’s simply not good enough for my constituents including parents with prams, those using wheelchairs and those with mobility issues to be unable to access platform 2 at Greenfield Station. And I have asked Mr Grayling to let me know what plans he has to ensure that Greenfield is a fully accessible station.”

The Office of Rail and Road Statistics estimate that the annual rail passenger usage in Greenfield in 2015/2016 was over 330,000 people.


  • Mark Ashmore says:

    Great to have the full support of our MP.
    Ridiculous that while the rest of the North of England is looking forward to an improved rail service we in Greenfield are getting a much worse service especially for commuters.
    The times mentioned are still draft so we won’t know final timetable until the new year.

  • Joel Brayford says:

    I don’t think some people have yet realised that the reason for this revised service is due to the engineering works on the line to electrify it and modernise it? The trains are being redirected to Piccadilly. An already very busy station which is struggling to cope with its own services let alone additional ones. People cry out for improvements yet when they start to roll them out they criticise the disruption! You can’t have one without the other! And if Debbie wants to criticise the government for this then how would she do it differently?

  • Mark Ashmore says:

    Joel Brayford – I only wish you were correct. I do not know where you got yoor information from but you have been sadly misinformed. If modenising the line was the reason for the revised service then I can assure you that the Rail User Groups for Mossley, Greenfield, Marsden and Slaithwaite would not be up in arms about the proposed worse service from next May.
    The actual reason for the revised service has nothing to do with improving the railway line between Manchester and Leeds but to provide faster trains between the regional centres of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and York and the reduced service at Greenfield is “collateral damage”.

  • “John Adams understood the vital link between the nature of business operations and life in general. Many businesses concern yourself with customer opinions, suppose its negative could that impact the business. She left a message letting me know she would call the next day but she never said anything in regards to the results.

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