Pledge by new rail operator servicing High Peak

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At least two trains per hour from Manchester to New Mills and faster trains between Buxton and Manchester are pledged by 2020 by the High Peak’s new rail operator.

Arriva Rail North will take over the local rail franchise from Norther Rail tomorrow (Friday) and is aiming to improve services.

And High Peak MP Andrew Bingham has hailed the plans as ‘potentially transformational’.

He said: “The Government has set challenging targets for investment and growth, which will see the network massively improved.”

Arriva will operate the Northern franchise from April 2016 until March 2025 and have committed to: the complete removal of all ‘Pacer’ trains within three years, 281 new carriages across the network by 2020, with the remaining trains fully refurbished, more seats and longer trains at peak times.

There will also be more than 2,000 additional services across the network each week, and free wi-fi for all passengers by 2019.

There will be more frequent services between Manchester and New Mills Newtown by 2020; two trains per hour for most of the day.

There will also be faster journeys between Buxton and Manchester – with a maximum journey time of 55 minutes on the fastest trains.

Mr Bingham added: “I don’t expect things to change overnight, but I am impressed at the commitments Arriva have given for improving the service.”