Update 5 March
At our meeting with Paul Maynard, the Rail Minister, on 1st March. Arriva Trains North (ATN) presented the plans they have developed in response to our campaign to save the direct Southport link to Oxford Road and Piccadilly.
From May 2018
· ATN’s basic offer is for a 6 day per week hourly service that starts at Stalybridge and runs via Victoria and Bolton to Wigan North Western before returning via Bolton, Oxford Road and Piccadilly to terminate at Alderley Edge. It then follows that route in reverse. This would preserve the Piccadilly corridor link for stations currently served East of Wigan.
· There would be no full day service from stations West of Wigan to Manchester Oxford Road and Piccadilly.
· Instead there will be, on weekdays only, two morning peak trains going into Piccadilly and two coming back early evening. The position on Sunday services is unclear at the moment.
· Because of limited platform capacity at Manchester Airport as a result of the increased length and number of Trans Pennine Express (TPE) trains that have been mandated by the DfT, our trains will no longer run though from Piccadilly to the Airport
From December 2019
· Provided that planned electrification projects finish on time then there will be a Stalybridge, Victoria, Bolton, Wigan, Southport, Wigan, Bolton, Piccadilly, Alderley Edge direct service from December 2019.
Your campaign group does not think an eighteen month hiatus in between May 2018 and December 2019 will be acceptable to our rail users. We know the full through service from Southport to Oxford Road and Piccadilly could be technically possible and therefore want to see it from May 2018. Such proposals will, however, involve extra cost for Arriva Trains North.
The Rail Minister has referred the problem back to Rail North and our council leaders to resolve. The May 2018 plans will go out to public consultation next month and we will make sure you know how to have your say. If you haven't already written to your council leader to express your feelings please, please do so.
Should you require any further explanation on any of the above points please contact us.
Please contact us with any queries, suggestions or other feedback especially if you use off peak services let us know your reason and frequency of travel.
You can comment and give critical feedback on the campaign by e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or social media:
facebook: southportrailtransportforum Twitter @opsta15