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Local trains overcrowding - update

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Local trains continue to cause headaches for commuters as the fight for improvements continues.

A long awaited upgrade to the line between Bolton and Blackburn was completed last year, which should allow for double the number of services to run through Hall i’ th’ Wood and Bromley Cross stations. Extra services were due last Christmas, but Northern Rail has still not delivered on this. I now have assurances from them that extra services will appear in the May 2018 timetable.

The electrification of the Preston-Bolton-Manchester line has been causing a wide range of issues for commuters since 2014. Not only have the works made commuting difficult at times, overcrowding was made worsened by trains being diverted away from Bolton. Regrettably this project has been delayed yet again. A number of services, including our links to Scotland, can only return to Bolton once electrification is complete. This is now not estimated to be before the May 2018 timetable.

In the last few weeks I have heard from many residents that the service has dramatically worsened. There are issues on the Blackburn line which serves Bromley Cross and Hall i’ th’ Wood.

Two carriage services during peak times is insufficient and people are being left on the platform or forced to share standing space in the toilets just to get on board. The lack of frequency on this line means there are few alternatives if you’re forced to miss a service through overcrowding.

I have written to Northern Rail to raise concerns about these issues, but have not received a reply at the time of writing.

I also contacted Network Rail following suggestions that recent delays to services may be down to a reoccurring signalling issue. You can find their response below.

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I will continue to challenge the Government and local operators over our poor services and fight for improvements. For an overview on my work in the last few years visit www.davidcrausby.co.uk/trains

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