Rail travel halted for 39 weeks per year from 2020

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

“My ini­tial con­cern is that the inevitably ex­ten­sive con­struc­tion work in the Colne Val­ley will hit our ser­vices and dis­rupt the wider com­mu­nity.

“It is my hope, how­ever, that we will see ev­ery ef­fort be­ing made to sched­ule work so that this stretch is closed for the min­i­mum pe­riod of time whilst trains by-pass our sta­tions.

“Po­ten­tially, the up­grade is pos­i­tive, if it de­liv­ers a mod­ern rail­way pro­vid­ing im­proved ca­pac­ity, fre­quency and re­li­a­bil­ity.

“This must de­liver these ben­e­fits for pas­sen­gers from Hud­der­s­field, Slaith­waite and Mars­den, rather than be­ing ex­clu­sively fo­cused on pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling be­tween Manch­ester and Leeds.”

Colne Val­ley coun­cil­lor, Rob Walker, who is also chair­man of the Slaith­waite and Mars­den Ac­tion on Rail Trans­port (SMART) group, said he had seen the let­ter and be­lieved rail op­er­a­tors would be forced to use the Calder Val­ley route dur­ing the sig­nif­i­cant por­tions of the up­grade project. “We could end up with no ser­vice at all,” he warned.

“In the long term this will bring real ben­e­fits but in the short term it could cause a lot of grief be­cause of the scale of build­ing work tak­ing place. “We would hope they would do some proper con­sul­ta­tion with lo­cal politi­cians, and more im­por­tantly with the wider com­mu­nity, be­fore any­thing is de­cided.

“What I worry about is be­cause we are on the fringes of Leeds and Manch­ester, when de­ci­sions are made the em­pha­sis is on the pas­sen­gers from the big cities and not enough con­sid­er­a­tion is given to us.

“It’s clear from the May timetable scan­dal that peo­ple from Slaith­waite and Mars­den have prob­a­bly suf­fered more than any­body else.

“We’ve al­ready been let down in terms of what was promised.

“I’ve seen peo­ple in tears on the plat­forms when their trains don’t turn up.

“We’ve heard of peo­ple get­ting their wages docked £20 ev­ery time they’re late.

“It’s vi­tal we get more peo­ple on trains and less in cars, but at the mo­ment it’s go­ing the other way.”

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