Commuter row

CHINLEY commuters are fighting plans to alter two rush-hour services from Manchester.

Network Rail want to terminate the 17.18 departure at New Mills Central to provide a new service back to Manchester, stop the 17.20 service from calling at Chinley at all and create a new 18.14 service from Sheffield to Manchester from December.

There would be four evening peak services from Manchester calling at Chinley, departing at 16.43, 16.45, 17.43 and 17.48.

But commuters returning from Manchester and Stockport fear the changes will lead to overcrowding on already busy services.

Linn Robinson said the 17.26 service from Stockport was already horrendously overcrowded and its removal would mean that the earlier or later services, already at capacity, would have to pick up these commuters.

“Passengers can barely get on the train by the time this service arrives in Stockport, on occasions people have been left behind.”

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said the proposals followed a campaign in the Hope Valley to provide an extra evening peak departure from Sheffield.

“The Hope Valley route is a significant freight route for the aggregates industries so the passenger timetable is broadly two hourly across week days, and any changes need to fit in with freight paths.

“There has been a lot of detailed planning work to develop the proposals to this stage. We recognise that for a small minority of passengers this will cause an inconvenience, however we have worked hard to provide an overall improvement for the majority for passengers across the route.”

But Linn said: “I strongly urge Northern Rail to reconsider this proposal and look at other ways to accommodate the freight trains. It does not make sense to remove rush-hour commuter services. This is not only detrimental to me and my fellow Chinley commuters but also to the very survival of our currently thriving village.”

Anyone wanting to comment on the changes should email customer.relations@northernrail.org by the end of the month. A decision on the changes is expected in May.