Dismay at new timetable decisions that will inconvenience hundreds in West Yorkshire every day

With the publication of new, planned local rail timetables, due to start in December, it has emerged that some through services that enable people to travel directly between stations in east Leeds and destinations such as Bradford and Halifax have been removed.

Lack of consultation

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: “I am dismayed by both the removal of these services and the lack of consultation around this decision, which will inconvenience hundreds of passengers a day.

“We are urgently taking this issue up with Northern Rail and Transport for the North to make the case for the restoration of these services.

“Once again we are seeing decisions being taken by rail industry officials with little or no consideration of the impacts on passengers which, given we are still dealing with the impact of the calamitous timetable change in May, indicates lessons have not yet been learned.

“It is vital that passengers and their representatives are given a stronger voice in the way rail services are operated in the North of England and I will be ensuring this, and the need for much greater transparency about operator performance, is at the centre of the Blake-Johnson review.”

No regard

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said: “It is vital that we have local transport networks that enable everyone across West Yorkshire to have access to jobs and education.

“It would be disappointing to lose direct rail journeys between Halifax, Bradford, and East Leeds and it’s particularly annoying that the rail industry makes changes with no regard for the journeys people need to make.”

Enforced changes

Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Combined Authority Chair and Bradford Council leader, said: "The timetabling of trains across the North evidently just isn’t working. This is just the latest in a series of enforced changes which is going to impact on people’s journey to and from work. The timetabling fiasco is costing northern businesses over £1 million a day. It’s simply not good enough."

Cllr Blake is leading a review into the disruption to rail services in the North earlier this year with Rail Minister Jo Johnson.

02 Nov 2018

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