RAIL users were urged to attend a Friends of Mossley Station meeting at the George Lawton Hall on Thursday, December 7 to discuss timetable proposals.
Their feedback was being sought on the draft timetable for 2018.
Friends of Mossley Station secretary Andrew Holstead believes commuters will be adversely affected by the plans.
He explained: “We have not had a timetable recast of this scale for some time, and it is going to make a lot of impact.
“There is the time of trains and also the fact they will go into Piccadilly rather than Victoria.
“Now, the longest wait is about half an hour, but the gap could become 45 minutes.
“I have already heard from a number of people who said they will not be able to get back for childcare.”
Mr Holstead does not believe there will be may changes to the proposals.
“Maybe a small number of trains may make an additional stop at Mossley,” he said.
“It will not be a solution to problems the new timetable will present, but a slight easing of the situation.”
The timetable is based on the Train Service Requirement (TSR) which was decided by the Dept for Transport, not the train companies.
To win the franchise bid Northern and Trans-Pennine had to comply with the TSR.
The expected changes are:
• Trains serving Mossley will start/terminate at Manchester Piccadilly.
• No direct trains to Ashton or Manchester Victoria and beyond.
• To get to Ashton or Manchester Victoria passengers will need to change at Stalybridge.
• Trains to/from Mossley will call at Slaithwaite.
• Trains to/from Mossley will not call at Greenfield or Marsden.
• Trans-Pennine will operate one train an hour which will call at Stalybridge, Mossley, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield and then go on to Hull.
• Northern will operate a small number of peak trains – morning peak to Manchester Piccadilly and evening peak out of Manchester Piccadilly.
• There will no longer be an all stations service between Huddersfield and Manchester Victoria.
Mr Holstead added the Friends of Mossley Station are concerned about:
• Loss of direct links to Ashton (administrative and commercial centre of Tameside) and Manchester Victoria.
• One fewer evening peak departures from Manchester: currently there are seven trains between 4pm and 7pm, but it is proposed to reduce that to six.
• The uneven intervals in train departures in the peak (am and pm). Current there are train departures are approximately every 30 minutes. It is proposed train departures will be spaced 15 and then 45 minutes apart.
• The potential for overcrowding. The uneven spacing of peak time trains will focus passengers on to a small number of services leading to overcrowding.
• The uneven spacing is less useful to commuters leading to overcrowding. Until new trains allow a cascade of stock the trans-Pennine trains at Mossley will only be three coaches – leading to overcrowding.
• Trans-Pennine services calling at Mossley will already be busy with longer distance passengers – leading to overcrowding.
• Skip-stopping services.
Friends of Mossley Station have asked train companies to consider providing additional stops at Mossley and the other four local stations.
But they have to wait to see what train-paths Network Rail will make available to Northern and Trans-Pennine and therefore whether any additional trains will serve Mossley.
While it is recognised the timetable for 2018 is nearly complete, the 2019 will still be in the planning stage.
Mr Holstead said it is important to make representations now as the planners will already be preparing the 2019 timetable and now is the time to influence them.
As for the proposed electrification of the line, Mr Holstead says it has been paused and the talk now is about modernisation.
He explained: “I think electrification will happen, but not for some time.
“It should not just be about faster journey times, but also about improving the connectivity of the four local stations on the line between Huddersfield and Manchester.”