On Tuesday 14 May, I attended a briefing in parliament this week from Northern Rail. A new timetable is due to come into operation in May. Northern say they have learned from the disastrous timetable change last year, and are confident this time things will go more smoothly. In practice, there will be very few changes to our local service through the constituency.
We will have a completely refurbished set of trains on our line by the end of 2019 (53% of Northern’s 253 trains have already been refurbished), and the dreadful Pacers will finally be withdrawn by the end of the year. Northern say they’ve been working on getting the necessary number of carriages on each service (I’ve repeatedly raised complaints of 2-car trains arriving during the morning and evening peak time, and I’ve recently been told again that the 0847 from Urmston is overcrowded). Northern say 98% of trains have been in compliance with the number of carriages that they should have since last December.
A new stop is due to open at Warrington West in the next few months, and some of the services to and from the new station will call at Urmston. I asked about more stops for other intermediate stations on our line, and pressed for this to be kept under review.
Finally, I raised the issue of vandalised ticket machines. Northern are now planning to remove the machines at Trafford Park and Chassen Road, since they have suffered repeated vandalism, and they will look at alternative payment arrangements for passengers boarding at those stations.
As ever, please keep me informed about your experiences of the service by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org