Walkden park and ride

Northern Rail bosses have been heavily criticised after taking the decision to temporarily cut Swinton train services in half.

The decision, taken in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has received an angry reaction from local leaders such as Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett and Salford MP Rebecca Long-Bailey.

The new timetable came into force on Wednesday the 16th of September, and means that off-peak services have been cut from two an hour to only one.

For commuters travelling into Manchester from Swinton train station, this now means that after the 9.09 am service, the next train will not depart until 10.28 am.

This new timetable will be in place until Northern reintroduces the normal ‘two an hour’ service in December.

In a joint letter to managing director of Northern Rail Nick Donovan, signed by both Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long-Bailey and Salford Mayor Paul Dennett, they described their disappointment in the decision as well as the lack of consultation with key stakeholders in the station.

In the letter, they wrote: “Whilst we understand the many challenges and difficulties that the public transport operators are facing in these difficult times, it is imperative that commuters can still access a frequent and reliable train service to access employment opportunities.

Swinton is one of Salford’s busiest local stations, providing an important link for residents.”

They also went on to say in the letter that “to have such a poor service frequency at a station which serves a key local centre and the administrative centre of Salford City Council, employing thousands of people, is very disappointing.”

The new temporary timetable, which is available to view online on the Northern Rail website, shows how only one train is now leaving each hour towards Manchester.

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically reduced the number of people working in the office, with most people preferring to work from home.

Although with recent proposals of a park and ride facility at Swinton station, there is a clear demand for increased services from Swinton to areas such as Manchester.

To view the timetable online and find out more information about services at Swinton train station, you can visit the Northern Rail website here.

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