Northern to restore some rail services in December 2022 timetable

Leaders respond as Northern commits to reinstate rail services after cuts in January and May 2022.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire and Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, have responded to comments made by Northern at a recent Rail North Committee meeting on their commitment to reverse recent train service cuts in December 2022.

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said:

“I’m encouraged by Northern’s commitment to restore rail services in December 2022, though I’m disappointed that this won’t be for another five months as Northern works though its driver training backlog.

“I know that many passengers feel frustrated and have been inconvenienced by having a reduced timetable or no service at all, in Bradford, Ilkley, Huddersfield and in the Wakefield and Five Towns area. And where trains have been running they have often been overcrowded – people still want to travel by train, despite all of the problems.

“But we still want a commitment to restore services on the Huddersfield-Wakefield-Normanton-Castleford route, which haven’t run regularly since the start of the pandemic. When I gave evidence to the Transport Select Committee back in February, I told them what people told me – that this route was a vital connection for education and work, with no fast bus services as a fallback.

If ‘levelling up’ is to be more than just a slogan, we need to see an investment in the services that people use and make a difference to their lives.

Tracy Brabin Mayor of West Yorkshire

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee and Leader of Bradford Council, commented:

“I am pleased that Northern have made a commitment to reinstating train services by December 2022.

“It is vital that our communities are served by a decent, affordable and reliable train service – stripping back public transport has limited the ability of people to get to work, school and other leisure opportunities along the Airedale and Wharfedale lines.

“West Yorkshire’s rail passengers have returned to the network, and we’re seeing a stronger recovery in demand than in the south of England, demonstrating the importance role that rail services provide for our communities.

“Our train service and station facilities must be able to meet this demand if we are to truly ‘level up’.”

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