We fear for our station’s future

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In Northern Rail’s draft timetable for May 2014 Northern are proposing to slash services at Walsden by more than half at core peak times.

All services, except for one morning service, would call at Dewsbury and not Halifax. The infrequency of services and having to change stations would cause great difficulties to rail users travelling both east or west from Walsden.

Walsden rail users do not traditionally have links with Dewsbury for employment, education or council services, as we have never had a direct service to Dewsbury and Halifax is the main town in Calderdale.

In the December 2008 Walsden Station suffered the biggest cuts to its peak time services of any station on the Caldervale line despite having higher passenger numbers than other stations on this line even with a poorer off peak service than any other station on the line. Once again, under the proposals for May 2014, the biggest cuts are proposed to services at Walsden.

Since the December 2008 timetable came into effect passenger numbers have been reducing year on year as people in Walsden struggle with the poor service.

Walsden is classed by Metro as being in the “Leeds City Area” despite being an hour away from Leeds by rail. WRAG members feel that at time of the last cuts Metro agreed to the biggest cuts in peak time services at Walsden, as it is the furthest station from Leeds on the Caldervale Line in the “Leeds City Area”.

Were Northern’s latest proposed changes to be implemented at Walsden, WRAG members feel the station usage numbers would drop further and this could possibly lead to the closure of the station. This would be a waste of the public money spent on building the station. WRAG feels Walsden needs a better service, to improve employment and education prospects and growth in the area.

Vanessa Lightfoot

Secretary Walsden Rail Action Group