Preston is to see a reduced number of Northern trains operating from it and coming through it during the next two months.Advertisement
Northern – which has seen hundreds of train services cancelled or delayed in the last few weeks – is under increasing pressure.
It has taken the measure of introducing a temporary timetable train, something it says will give it more time to get drivers trained on new routes.
New timetables introduced in early May have been branded a ‘disaster’ with Preston passengers left stranded, frustrated and disappointed with unreliable train services.
A total of 165 services are being temporarily removed until Tuesday 31 July. The changes begin on Monday 4 June.
Read more: Northern train carriage left covered in graffiti
Managing director David Brown said: We have been experiencing some significant disruption to train services, especially around north Manchester, Bolton, Liverpool, Blackpool and up to the Lake District. I’d like to apologise for this unacceptable situation and for the disruption and inconvenience many passengers have faced. We’re truly sorry for this and are working hard to fix this.
“Again I would like to apologise on behalf of Northern for the unacceptable service many customers have been subject to. We are absolutely committed to resolving the service issues, and the interim plan will help ensure we start to get back on track and start to give customers more certainty around the services we operate.”
Northern are blaming not having enough time to prepare the new timetables, which were designed in four months, instead of nine to 12 months.
They are also blaming Network Rail, for the delay in electrifying the Manchester, Bolton, Preston line – which in January it was announced would be delayed further.
Work between Preston and Blackpool North running late is also being blamed for the delay in driver training.
All services on the ‘Lakes Line’ are being scrapped. Running to and from Preston, Lancaster and Oxenholme, a replacement bus service is to run for the first two weeks.
Having recently reopened, the route between Blackpool South and Preston will see a reduction in services.
A small number of off-peak services between Blackpool North and Manchester Airport, which call at Preston, will be stopped.
Getting between Ormskirk and Preston will become harder, a reduction in service there.
Some specific services being scrapped are the 6.20am from Blackburn to Preston, the 10.19am from Blackburn to Preston, the 11.23pm Preston to Blacburn will not run.
The 6.48am Preston to Leeds service is going to start at Blackpool North at 6.12am.
The 8.49pm Leeds to Preston service is being extended to Blackpool North.
There’s a Preston section on the Northern website and there’s links to each timetable so you can see if your train is due to run or not during the temporary timetable. Or check the National Rail website.
New leader of Preston City Council has called for Northern to be returned to public ownership
The standard of service from Northern Rail is causing significant problems for people travelling to and from Preston Railway Station. The service needs to improve and quickly and in the long term should be brought back into public ownership. https://t.co/gaYsgdNS22
— Matthew Brown (@MatthewBrownLab) June 1, 2018
And Mark Hendrick, MP for Preston, has linked the Northern rail issue with ongoing issues with the ‘Northern Powerhouse’
The so called 'Northern Powerhouse' as coined by George Osborne was always 'kidology' to get Tories votes in the north. Jen Williams tells it as it is. The ‘northern powerhouse’ really looks like: a mess | Jennifer Williams https://t.co/oI3UTNLoEI
— Mark Hendrick (@MpHendrick) June 1, 2018
Have you been affected by the Northern train issues? Let us know in the comments below