A PROPOSED new rail timetable will have a devastating effect on the lives of Mossley residents, it is claimed.
Friends of Mossley Station secretary Andrew Holstead says their research that revealed some disturbing consequences.
He explained: “We have received quite a bit of feedback about the proposals and members of the public are telling us that they will not be able to hold down jobs or manage childcare/family commitments and still use the train.
“The comments we have received indicate that either people will need to move home, give up their jobs or drive into Manchester after the timetable comes into effect.
Mr Holstead added that was emphasised to Andy Burnham in a meeting that followed a Friends’ get-together when about 50 people gathered at the George Lawton Hall.
They discussed the controversial new timetable which will reduce the frequency of trains that will also operate to Manchester Piccadilly rather than Manchester Victoria, which is the current destination.
Mr Holstead continued: “We, along with the Stalybridge to Huddersfield Rail User Group, met with Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham just before Christmas.
“I presented on behalf of the group and outlined our concerns about the proposed timetable from May 2018 in terms of utility, reliability and ability to meet demand for growth in journeys from Mossley and the other local stations on the route.
“We then highlighted the opportunities the Mayor had to influence the timetable in the immediate, medium and long term, especially in relation to the proposed housing developments in Mossley as part of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.”
Mr Burnham said he was particularly concerned that local connectivity was not sacrificed for the benefit of longer distance journeys – his focus was on improving local transport links, thus allowing local communities to develop economically.
The Mayor wanted to know from Transport for Greater Manchester what the predicted level of decline was for the new timetable.
In summing up, Mr Holstead pointed out that the ability of people to hold down their jobs would be improved in the immediate future if the Mayor could:
* Improve the arrival/departure times of the peak services to take account of workers not on flexitime
* Ensure that both Northern connecting services from Stalybridge to Victoria extend beyond Victoria to Salford Central and Salford Crescent and onward
Looking to the future, Mr Holstead added the groups intend to continue their dialogue with the Mayor.
They also hope to meet with Rail North and they are expecting to hear from the operators on what the timetable for May 2018 will be in the next month or so.