Campaign for retention of direct services to the south side of Manchester
The train operator's plan is to route all services on the Southport -
Manchester lines to Victoria from December 2017.
The bottom line: daily over 830 peak period commuters rely on the
threatened service as do hundreds more throughout the day!
On 1st July the four MPs for Southport, West Lancs, Wigan
and Makerfield, local authorities, OPSTA and SRTF met with Arriva Northern
and Rail North.We were seeking a positive outcome in which both services
to Victoria and Piccadilly are retained and even improved.
Our MPs, who had set aside time specifically to work with rail managers
to find a solution that would retain rail services for their constituents, were
left visibly infuriated and frustrated when it became clear Arriva had no real
intention of finding a way of saving the Piccadilly-Airport link from being
axed in Dec 2017.
Arriva’s blunt justification, “we have a commercial contract with DfT”.
In response to the major concern expressed by travellers over the time
loss and uncertainty in making a rail connection, especially at busy peak
periods in the evening; “it will be all right”, “it will not be a problem”.
A lot more was covered and there is a long way to go with this campaign,
so expect to read more from us very soon.
Something to say? At this point we are not requesting e mails to
be sent anywhere but clearly you are free to do as you choose. We will
certainly be seeking further intervention and show of support soon. And please do comment and contact us.
Who are we?
The Ormskirk, Preston and Southport Travellers' Association - OPSTA - is the rail user group for West Lancashire's railways using the traditional boundaries described by Preston, Wigan and Liverpool.
We are a non political group that campaigns for the retention, improvement and development of the railway links between Liverpool and Preston via Ormskirk, and from Southport and Kirkby to Manchester via Wigan. We are members of the West of Lancashire Community Rail Partnership and the One West Lancs Transport group.
If you find that we share common aims
please join us or you can follow us here (last updated on 5th July) and on twitter @opsta15.
Burscough Bridge Ticket Office
The ticket office closed on June 25th and although there is behind-the-scenes work to find a viable way of running it in the future, a solution has not been found
OPSTA will assist and
work constructively with all parties to get a staffed ticket office re-opened,
and if necessary, as looks increasingly likely, we will campaign on this issue
With Northern promising to
increase the number of staffed stations under the new franchise could they
provide some financial support here?
Although it is widely reported that the proposed
and very welcome increase to 17 services a day between Preston and Ormskirk
will deliver an hourly, clockface timetable, we await the detail. Northern has
said timetables are being worked on and indicated this schedule will be
achieved through sharing train unit allocations with other services thus
enabling 2 trains to be running on the line simultaneously and passing on “the
Preston approaches”. Suggestion that our line will become part of a timetabled
through service was denied.
Our surveys clearly show the importance of
getting the times aligned to traveller need especially in the peak periods
which means a more frequent if irregular service that could only be achieved by
a return to units passing at Rufford.
OPSTA has submitted a schedule for consideration.
Rail users can assist
by emailing their observations and experiences to email@example.com.