Make a ‘rail’ difference says MP
Thursday 14th August 2014 @ 12:41 by Nigel Skinner
Glossop Chronicle News

High Peak MP Andrew Bingham is encouraging people to make a ‘rail’ difference and take part in a train service consultation.

Train services in the High Peak are supplied by Northern trains (Buxton and Glossop/Hadfield lines), and First TransPennine (Hope Valley line).

These franchises are due for renewal in 2016 and there has been a consultation running giving people the opportunity to comment prior to the bidding process taking place.

“As ever with any consultation it is important that people take part,” says the MP.

“I know user groups across the High Peak are doing so, but I would encourage anyone who uses any of the rail lines through the High Peak to look at the document and submit their own comments.

“Each line has its own issues and challenges and many people across the High Peak use these lines to commute to and from work.

“On the Hope Valley line – which connects Manchester and Sheffield and is used by people from both sides of the constituency, be it from New Mills or Chinley or from the Hope Valley itself – there is the added complication of ensuring that the fast through trains between these two cities don’t mean a reduction in stopping trains to serve the High Peak.

“I met with the current operators First TransPennine last week to discuss this issue and other matters regarding the service on that line. The Chancellor has already announced some significant investment into this line to increase its capacity which should mean better services for High Peak residents.

“The Buxton and Glossop/Hadfield lines are operated by Northern Rail and again there are issues around train sizes and people having to stand when trains are full.

“Fares are always an issue and the Government have already reduced the amount that train companies can increase fares by, in order to keep them down as much as possible. Only this week it has been brought to my attention that there are some changes being made around off peak times on the Glossop/Hadfield line by Northern Rail, which I will be looking into and speaking to Northern Rail about.

“The new franchises will be awarded next October and will start in February 2016.

“The Stakeholder Consultation ends on August 18th so this is an opportunity for us all to comment. For people wishing to comment it can be found online at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-northern-and-transpennine-express-rail-franchises or by searching for ‘Northern Rail franchise’