The Government have started a public consultation which looks at the services currently provided by Northern Rail and First Transpennine Express, as their franchises are due to end in 2016.

I know that thousands of people across Bolton take an interest in the future of our railway, and hundreds have contacted me about the problems they have seen this autumn. I hope that together we can push Ministers and train operators to tackle the problems with the rail service.

Overcrowding and high prices are major concerns, and reduced staffing levels at ticket offices are not only inconvenient, they also raise concerns about public safety.

I’ll be meeting with First Transpennine Express later this week to talk about the implications of this consultation, and I’ll be pushing ministers to make the most of new franchise arrangements to deliver the best quality service for the public and not use this as another drive for cuts.

Anyone who wants to can make their opinions known through this consultation and I encourage you to take part.

The consultation run until the 18th August 2014 and can be accessed via

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