SEVERAL ORGANISATIONS have spoken out against changes to timetables planned in the North West of England, following the launch of a consultation in January.

The work of the Manchester Recovery Task Force, explained in our feature last month (p62), aimed to present a series of alternative packages of service changes to improve reliability around the Manchester area, and particularly through the congested Castlefield corridor by reducing the number of trains on this two-track section. However, politicians and local groups have criticised individual elements of these proposals which would affect their own areas. Consultation on the three options for packages of timetable changes closed on 10 March.

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has stated it does not support any of the three options, principally because they remove direct services between Southport and Manchester Piccadilly. In a report to the Combined Authority’s Transport Committee on 4 March, a proposed consultation response states: ‘This service was removed from the timetable back in May 2018 and was reinstated in December 2019 following a detailed and evidence based campaign’. LCRCA says it could support Option Aif direct Southport to Piccadilly services were retained but criticises Options B and C as they would result in stopping services between Liverpool and Manchester on the Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC) route being split at Warrington.

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