‘We fear change would derail our service’

Walsden Railway Station to Leeds...but not Halifax or Bradford?
Walsden Railway Station to Leeds...but not Halifax or Bradford?

Rail campaigners are digging in to fight proposed changes which would see most trains serving Walsden Station not stopping at Halifax or Bradford.

Travellers are being urged by Walsden Rail Action Group members to protest about the move to their local councillors, Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker, Metro, and Northern Rail itself, which is proposing the changes.

A spokesman for the group said most trains stopping at Walsden will go on to Leeds via Brighouse, bypassing Halifax and Bradford.

“There will be one direct train to Leeds via Halifax and Bradford during the morning rush hour, leaving Walsden at 7.05am. There will be no direct trains from Bradford and Halifax to Walsden during the evening rush hour. The first direct train in the evening from these stations to Walsden will depart Bradford at 19.41pm. They will then depart hourly from 20.58pm. It appears people who want to travel between Walsden and Halifax/Bradford will be expected to change trains at either Todmorden or Hebden Bridge,” she said.

Group members took their concerns to last week’s ward forum at St Peter’s Church, Walsden.

Drew Haley, client and stakeholder manager for Northern Rail, said: “The initial draft of the proposed changes for the May 2014 timetable have been made available for public comment.

“This consultation is a necessary part of the development of timetables by incorporating public and stakeholder feedback into the ongoing development process. The timetable changes are driven by the new TransPennine Express five trains per hour service across the Pennines, requiring a major recast of Northern services from Manchester Victoria and through the Huddersfield area.

“The initial responses from local passenger groups and the PTEs has raised concerns over a number of issues of which Walsden is one. We are now looking to work on this feedback as we continue to develop the timetables and reduce any compromises for our passengers.”