Garth Harkness

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Saddleworth North Ward on Oldham Council Learn more

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Liberal Democrats support more frequent, more reliable train service for Greenfield and Manchester

by Garth Harkness on 18 February, 2021

Liberal Democrat Councillors want to see a half-hourly train service from Greenfield to Manchester and Huddersfield, and an hourly train direct to Leeds, to make rail travel more frequent and more reliable for passengers.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, who represents Oldham on the Transport for Greater Manchester Board and is the Leader of the Opposition on Oldham Council, has responded to the Greenfield Rail Action Group to confirm that he supports the group’s aspirations for a better and more reliable train service to the only mainland train station actually located within the Oldham Borough. 

Following the introduction of a new timetable in May 2018, rail services were thrown into chaos, and many passengers at Greenfield were left stranded waiting for trains that had a shocking record for punctuality and reliability.  In 2020, the Manchester Recovery Task Force was formed with representatives from the Department of Transport, Network Rail, Northern, TransPennine Express, Transport for the North and Transport for Greater Manchester, to come up with proposals to restore the rail service.

The findings of the task force and a series of possible options were published by the Department for Transport on 14 January and are now open to public consultation.

Councillor Sykes, and his Liberal Democrat colleague, Councillor John Leech, from Manchester are clear where they stand. 

“Option 3 stands out as the one we want”, said Councillor Sykes, “it will help restore some of the trains to Greenfield as well as providing a more reliable service in the so called ‘congested corridor’ in Manchester.  It will better enable commuters to get to and from their places of work and students to get to their colleges and universities in towns and cities served by a new half-hour daytime service from Greenfield.  We also want to see the investment that is much needed and overdue to make this station completely accessible so all passengers can enjoy an improved service.”

Although both Councillors will be making representations supporting option 3, Councillor Sykes is clear that members of the public should have their say too:  “I would urge all passengers who use this station to use this opportunity to speak out in favour of more frequent and more reliable services and a fully-accessible station at Greenfield.”

The consultation can be found at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/951401/manchester-recovery-task-force-public-consultation.pdf

Responses can be made by email to performancerecoverytaskforce@dft.gov.uk or in writing to MRTF Consultation, 3rd floor, Department for Transport, Great Minster House,  3 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR

The Closing Date for responses is 10, March.

The Greenfield Rail Action Group can be found on Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/groups/greenfieldstationusers/
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