Pressure kept on train bosses

Rail passengers facing fare price hikes at Halifax Train Station.
Rail passengers facing fare price hikes at Halifax Train Station.

Campaigners are keeping the pressure on railway chiefs to provide better services in Calderdale as they met with leading bosses for the train franchise.

The Halifax and District Rail Action Group heard from speakers at Arriva Rail North, operator of the Northern brand train services.

The group heard about the progress under the rail-operating franchise that is now a year old, and gave an update on plans for transformation of services through Halifax and along the Calder Valley line by the end of this decade.

However, HADRAG has major concerns over what can be done in the meantime to relieve overcrowding endured daily by Calderdale commuters going to work in Leeds and Manchester.

“We know that Northern’s plans for service development are truly transformative, but we say it’s not just about getting as fast as possible between the bigger towns and the big cities,” said chair Stephen Waring

“Meanwhile thousands of commuters on our existing trains are suffering sardine-can conditions on peak hour trains between Calderdale and Leeds and Manchester.

“We ask for more to be done whilst we wait for the new trains.

“With some trains looking to be 100 per cent overcrowded we have to ask whether what is promised by the new franchise is going to be enough.

“At Halifax station we are excited by transformation plans and we know decisions are expected in the next few months.

“HADRAG’s concern is to maintain the best possible access for existing users whilst expanding the station for future crowds.

“We want to see the station become a welcoming gateway to the town, and rail travel the first choice for visitors, not least for potential thousands attending events at the Piece Hall.”