Anger as local rail services are set to be cut in May

Cuts by local rail operator Northern will see some routes reduced to hourly in Bradford while other areas will have large gaps in service or no service at all.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, has expressed her anger and frustration that rail services across the region are to be further reduced by Northern in May 2022.

Bradford will see services reduced to hourly from Bradford Forster Square to Shipley, Ilkley and Skipton, as well as the withdrawal of some services between Halifax, Bradford Interchange, Leeds and Hull.

In Wakefield, services to Pontefract and Knottingley will be reduced while the Wakefield to Huddersfield route, which is a key link that cannot effectively be replaced by buses, still has no services.

Many other routes will see cuts to peak-time and evening services.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“I’m angry and disappointed to see yet another round of cuts to train services across West Yorkshire, with some of our least connected communities being hit hardest.

“I have written to Northern seeking an urgent meeting to explain why these cuts are taking place, and what steps they will be taking to return to a full timetable.

“I am deeply concerned that the impact of the pandemic is being used as a smokescreen for cuts to local rail services and have written to the Transport Secretary to confirm that his government is committed to supporting operators to re-instate services as soon as possible.

“Rail demand has been recovering more quickly in the North than in other parts of the country. At a time when people are returning to offices to work or visiting friends and family, to then cut back services is unfathomable. Our night-time economy will also suffer with so many gaps in services in the evenings.”