Lancashire

Lindsay Hoyle Mp says Lancashire-Manchester trains 'appalling'

Rail services between Lancashire and Manchester are "appalling" and over-crowded, according to an MP.

Lindsay Hoyle said three consecutive trains into Manchester on Saturday were full and the start of electrification works would make matters worse.

Christmas markets and the Rugby League World Cup final at Old Trafford drew crowds to Manchester at the weekend.

Don Jary from Northern Rail said: "Every serviceable train we have was out working last weekend."

'Breaking point'

He said: "Last Saturday was exceptional.

"We planned with a lot of other train operators to provide more capacity and we provided 20,000 extra seats over Saturday and Sunday into Manchester.

"The numbers of people going into Manchester on all train operators pushed the transport system almost to breaking point."

Chorley MP Mr Hoyle said people travelling to Manchester airport from the town had to get taxis as three consecutive trains only had two carriages, which were both full.

He said electrification work starting next week would reduce the capacity on some services even further.

He said: "Never mind that Saturday, my constituents are suffering day in day out.

"It's unacceptable. Northern Rail have got to get their act together. They've got to come forward with extra capacity."

'Just no investment'

John Moorhouse from TravelWatch NorthWest, which represents rail users, said: "More and more people are travelling, especially at peak times and there isn't any more rolling stock, and that's the problem.

"We've got trains running around which are well over 20 years old and there's just no investment.

"Until we see some electrification of the lines in the north west, we're probably not likely to get any more trains.

"That in itself should release some diesel trains and improve capacity, but it's not going to happen straight away."

The electrification of the line is part of the government's plan for a new Northern Hub, from London to Birmingham and to Manchester and Leeds, announced in 2009.

Work on the line to Chorley is expected to be completed in 2016.

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