EMBATTLED train operator Northern Rail has come under renewed fire from Calderdale leaders ahead of a timetables shake-up which could inconvenience hundreds of passengers a day in Halifax.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) says revised schedules being introduced by the operator next month will mean the withdrawal of direct services between stations in east Leeds and places including Bradford and Halifax.
Calderdale Council leader Councillor Tim Swift said: “This is extremely disappointing news for the Calder Valley line, especially in the context of our continued lobbying for improvements on the line.
"Having convenient, direct rail services is vital for residents and businesses.
"It is not acceptable that once again, we are seeing the rail industry impose significant changes that will cause massive problems for those who depend on rail for work and leisure.
"The underinvestment in the line has gone on for too long and this is another blow for the people who travel across the area.”
News of the changes comes six months after the botched implementation of another set of timetables caused major disruption for rail users across the North. Staff at Northern have also staged dozens of days of industrial action since March last year in a dispute over guards on trains.
Councillor 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.
A Northern spokesman said the new schedules were part of a push to provide improved “inter urban express services” for the region.
The spokesman added: “These changes were consulted with all parties last year, and at that time no concern was expressed with regard to the proposed changes.”