Number of changes to NW rail services proposed

A number of rail services across the North West could be axed – or significantly altered – under new shakeup plans.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 12:05 pm
Updated Friday, 5th March 2021, 12:06 pm
A number of rail services across the North West could be axed – or significantly altered – under new shakeup plans.

The government is consulting on changes aimed at improving “train performance in the Manchester area and beyond by altering the north of England rail timetable”.

A task force has been working towards improving services on the network since the introduction of new timetables in May 2018 caused widespread disruption.

Proposals tabled by the Department for Transport (DfT) could affect different train lines between parts of Merseyside and Manchester, as well as many others.

One option would see services to and from Victoria would be linked to reduce the number of terminating trains at this busy station, with more trains running through.

Plans could also see the Cleethorpes and Nottingham services to Liverpool (via Sheffield) increase to two trains per hour.

Passengers from Warrington Central could need to change at Piccadilly to access Manchester Airport.

Stopping trains on the line from Warrington Central could be split at Warrington rather than running through from Liverpool, and run at only one per hour off-peak, calling at all stations.

Liverpool could also lose its direct link to Manchester Airport – as could Chester.

All of the proposed options would see Southport lose its direct rail link with Manchester Piccadilly.

Announcing the consultation in January, rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris the government was “putting the power to improve the rail network in the hands of those that use it daily”.

He also urged passengers to voice their opinions on the proposed changes

Mr Heaton-Harris said: “Improving punctuality and reliability is one of my key priorities. As we continue to build back better from the pandemic, these proposals will ensure that the rail network is more dependable for those who use it every day.”

You can view the proposed timetable options in full at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/timetable-options-to-improve-rail-performance-in-the-north-of-englandRail users can email their views to [email protected]