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MP attempts to plug 'hole' in Buxton's morning train timetable

Northern says it is 'absolutely committed to resolving' current issues.
Northern says it is 'absolutely committed to resolving' current issues.

High Peak MP Ruth George is attempting to plug a 'hole' in Buxton's morning train timetable.

Mrs George said she met with transport secretary Chris Grayling this week to discuss issues about Northern rail following the introduction of new timetables on May 21.

She told the Buxton Advertiser: "While the new timetables see very welcome half-hourly off-peak services from Buxton and New Mills Central, they also see a gap in rush hour.

"There is no train leaving Buxton between 8am and 8.58am.

"This was compounded by the ending of the 8.33am fast service from Chinley which was operated by TransPennine Express.

"Following representations from myself and others, I am very pleased that Northern has added an extra train from Chinley at 9.05am to prevent an almost two-hour gap between the 8.03am and the 9.55am.

"However, there is still a 'hole' in the High Peak schedules at one of the busiest times for commuters and I will continue to press to this to be fixed as soon as possible."

The Buxton Advertiser asked Northern to comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.

'Unacceptable situation'

Northern - which operates across the north of England - has aborted more than 2,000 services since the new timetables were brought in.

An interim timetable was introduced on Monday, removing six per cent of the train operator's total services.

The company - which is struggling with a shortage of qualified drivers - said it expects to 'get back to a full timetable service' by the end of next month.

In a column for the Buxton Advertiser, Mrs George said all three lines into Manchester through the High Peak - from Buxton, the Hope Valley and Hadfield - had seen several services cancelled or stops missed out.

She added: "Passengers have been crammed into overcrowded carriages and left stranded at stations, often in sweltering heat."

David Brown, chief executive of Northern, apologised for the 'unacceptable situation'.

He added: "We are absolutely committed to resolving the service issues and the interim plan will help ensure we start to get back on track and start to give customers more certainty around the services we operate."

The prime minister's spokesperson said: "We have tremendous sympathy with everyone who has had their rail journey delayed or disrupted. What we have seen has been totally unacceptable."