Rail users in Halifax face longer journey times after introduction of new timetables

Timetable changes are on the way for Halifax
Timetable changes are on the way for Halifax

Hundreds of rail users in Halifax are facing up to the prospect of longer journey times following the introduction of new train schedules this weekend.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is reminding people that most through trains between stations in east Leeds and destinations such as Bradford and Halifax will no longer run as a result of timetable changes being introduced by Northern this weekend.

After Sunday, people travelling between Micklefield, Cross Gates, East Garforth & Garforth and Bramley, New Pudsey, Bradford Interchange, Halifax and beyond will no longer be able to travel on a direct train. Instead, they will need to change trains at Leeds, which Northern’s new timetables advise will add 20 minutes to each journey.

Passengers wanting to make these journeys will now need to consult two of Northern’s timetables to find out the train times and connections. Or they can use the Journey Planner on the Combined Authority’s Metro travel information website where they can input the dates and times they wish to travel and get details of the journeys.

Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said: “Losing these direct journeys, which are made by hundreds of people every day, represents a real backward step for local rail services at a time when we are working to develop better public transport links that reduce congestion and support our local economy.

"I am sure this inconvenience will come as a surprise to many regular travellers who will find over three hours added to their weekly journey times as they have to catch four trains each day instead of two.

“Decisions like this, which follow the disastrous introduction of the new timetable in May, underline the need for reforms to create a rail system for the North of England focused on passengers.”

Northern has said it consulted last year with “all parties” on the changes, with “no concern” being expressed at that stage.

The operator came under fire from MPs earlier this week over the botched implementation of another set of timetables in May.