MP highlights concerns of overcrowding on High Peak rail services

MP Andrew Bingham was reassured about services after meeting Northern Rail.
MP Andrew Bingham was reassured about services after meeting Northern Rail.

More trains, more carriages and more seats have all been promised by Northern Rail across its network after a key meeting with High Peak MP Andrew Bingham.

Mr Bingham met officials from the train company - which is responsible for High Peak services until 2025 - to raise concerns he had about overcrowding across the network, particularly on services in and out of New Mills Central.

The MP was also concerned about fare increases, the lack of access and parking at Chinley station, the frequency of weekday services to the Hope Valley stations and the rebuilding of the ticket office at New Mills Newtown.

Northern Rail agreed to spend a day with the MP visiting local stations, to discuss the issues in further detail.

“They brought me up to date with the reorganisation they’ve been going through and their plans are for the next few years of the franchise,” said Mr Bingham.

“I’ll wait to see the plans actually happen before I praise them too much, but they sound great. They’ve already placed the order for the new trains, so they’re on track to deliver that promise.”

The MP says Northern have committed to more than 2,000 extra services each week across its network in the next three years and 281 new carriages by 2020, meaning more seats and longer trains at peak times, although it is unclear whether High Peak will benefit. All ‘Pacer’ trains are to be removed within three years, and all remaining trains will be refurbished, offering free wi-fi to every passenger.