Council to robustly challenge proposed fast train to Manchester cuts

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WARRINGTON Borough Council will robustly challenge proposed cuts in fast train services to Manchester in timetable reviews currently out for consultation.

The proposals will see a reduction during the day from four fast trains per hour to three, during off-peak hours at the new Warrington West Station and reductions in service frequency at Birchwood.

THE £20.5m Warrington West station in Chapelford, opened less than two years ago with the aim of providing people in the west of Warrington with excellent links to central Warrington, Liverpool, Manchester and Manchester Airport.

A council spokesperson said: “We are disappointed with the proposed service reductions for Warrington, planned for the December 2022 timetable, which is now out for consultation.

“We are particularly unhappy about the removal of fast train services from Warrington West in the off-peak hours and reductions in service frequency at Birchwood Station.

“The overall reduction during the day of four trains per hour, to three trains per hour to and from Manchester, isn’t acceptable.

“We continue to be concerned at the lack of progress on improvements to the infrastructure both on the Liverpool to Manchester via Warrington line and in central Manchester. It is a continued lack of investment in improving the capacity of the rail network in the north which has caused these proposals and we are lobbying hard for improvements to the Liverpool to Manchester via Warrington line to be delivered as quickly as possible.

“We will be submitting a robust response to the consultation at the earliest opportunity.”
The full proposals can be viewed by CLICKING HERE

Charlotte Nichols MP

Meanwhile, Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols has hit out at the government’s Integrated Rail Plan which was launched last week with Prime Minister Boris Johnson making a whistle stop visit to the town’s Bank Quay Station.

But Ms Nichols said the Integrated Rail Plan cuts tens of billions of pounds from investment in northern transport infrastructure aleaving cities like Bradford stranded without the modern transport links that the Tories had promised
them.

Despite this betrayal, she said Warrington’s Labour Council had succeeded in demanding that Warrington be a core part of the network, with a new 40 mile high-speed track to West Yorkshire and upgrading and full electrification of the existing line to Liverpool.

Ms Nichols said: “Warrington Borough Council must be congratulated for winning this new infrastructure and investment at a time when the Government has broken its promises to so many northern cities and towns.

“The report also states that a new review will now consider the case for alternatives to the Golborne Spur, which I have been demanding from Ministers since I was elected. I will continue to keep pressure up on this issue to ensure the Golborne Spur is scrapped once and for all.

“The new proposals will require specific legislation in Parliament and over the coming weeks and months, I will be studying the proposals carefully to understand how they will affect Warrington North. Once we have a clearer idea of the details, I will be speaking to local residents to seek their views on the plans.”

PM Boris Johnson visits Warrington as new high-speed rail link with Manchester announced

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1 Comment

  1. The reason for unreliability in services between Liverpool and Manchester has been the delays in the part of the route of semi-fast services between Stockport and Sheffield. Previously there was only one of these an hour between Liverpool and Norwich, but it was delayed crossing the Midland Main Line at Sheffield and also the East Coast Main line at Ely. Network Rail now propose the second semi-fast Liverpool to Manchester Airport is sent to Cleethorpes instead whilst the Norwich service is truncated to Nottingham. So now two trains per hour go though the delay magnet that is the Hope Valley line and one still crosses the East Coast Main line. They expect delays because of this so Warrington west stops are cut out to reduce the time taken. This is sheer vandalism by Network Rail who seem to object to Warrington West in principal and whose staff I heard delighting in their predictions that the service would have to be cut as far back as the day the station opened.

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