of Piccadilly/ Airport Services under the New Franchise -
Arriva Rail North
took over the Northern franchise from 1st April 2016 with a plan to divert
our Piccadilly and airport services to Manchester Victoria from December 2017.
In reply to passenger
objections and a body of evidence, Northern (the operational management) stated
they will look at timetables in detail and will consult but made no commitment
to modify the plan to retain the direct service to Piccadilly. The Chair of Rail North has committed
to hold the operator to its promise to conduct a review of plans he placed this
in a context of benefits that will result from the Ordsall Chord/ Northern Hub,
electrification and new franchise.
the second month of its franchise, Northern has become almost mute, possibly
because many passengers comprehensively deconstructed their initial response,
not least the suggestion that a change at Salford Crescent would be reasonable.
Their position remains ‘it’s being looked at’ with no timeframe on when we will
completed platform surveys and counts by the Friends of Westhoughton station
established that half of their travellers use the line for stations on the
Piccadilly/ Airport route. We have now identified that 650 daily commuters will
be seriously and adversely affected by the loss of service.
while huge numbers need the service for work and education, the surveys at
Westhoughton were extended through the morning and their findings reinforced passenger
feedback, this is not just an issue for commuters.
to obtain the complete view, in early June we will conduct a morning commuter
survey at Wigan Wallgate and report figures covering all stations. To get a full picture, we do need to hear
from those of you using the service at other times from all stations along the
contrast with the rail company and Rail North, any and all local authorities
and business groups, that the Go To Piccadilly (#gotopicc)
campaign group speaks to, immediately recognise the seriousness of
the issue and act on it.
NEXT PHASE OF THE CAMPAIGN
we will be seeking your participation again in Making Our Voice Heard with a fresh emphasis ahead
of a proposed meeting with our local MPs, Rail North, Northern and our local
transport authorities (anticipated late June / July).
However, should you
wish to raise an objection now while we press for meaningful dialogue and
resolution use this link to see how you can make your voice heard - it is very
quick and easy. If you use Twitter please comment using #gotopicc and Campaign
for Better Transport's #railwoes. Or if Facebook is your social medium,
have a look at southportrailtransportforum.
Northern, our transport authorities and Rail North must be made to
understand it is wrong and we are not going to let this go. Please contact us if you have any comments or queries.
Burscough Bridge Ticket Office
We now understand
that the ticket office will be kept open until the end of June to give time to
secure its long term operation that will see it transferred from being a
Lancashire County Council operation, however, a solution has not been found
It was a pleasant
surprise to read that Arriva Rail North intends to run 17 services daily on
Ormskirk – Preston from December 17, up from the present 13 and above the
14 specified in the tender. It looks like someone may have taken notice of the
evidence based case we presented and if they are serious about getting it
right, they will be clear from our surveys this means running 2 units in the
Rail users can assist
by emailing their observations and experiences to firstname.lastname@example.org.