TRAIN provider Northern Rail has told the government that there is no need for extra carriages on the Bolton service.
MP David Crausby wrote to the under-secretary of state for transport, Stephen Hammond, asking him to clear up the confusion about who is responsible for giving a better service to train commuters.
It is part of a campaign by The Bolton News, which is urging transport bosses to dramatically improve Bolton’s “cattle market” rail services and reinstate axed peak hour carriages.
In his letter, Mr Hammond said the Department for Transport has spoken to Northern Rail with regards to Bolton services and has been told that the number of passengers using trains from Wigan Wallgate, through Bolton, decreased in December.
This, the department said, was down to many commuters choosing to use the newly electrified First TransPennine Express services that runs through Wigan North Western station en route to Manchester, freeing up space on the Bolton line.
Mr Hammond said: “With the stated reduction in capacity on the Bolton corridor being eight to nine per cent across the morning peak in December, 2013, as I stated, Northern Rail has advised the department of how it proposes to manage demand at stations on the Bolton line if the passenger demand on individual trains differs from expectations.
“These proposals include an option to transfer a train from a morning peak train serving other routes into Greater Manchester, if necessary.
“As yet, no such transfer of rolling stock has been deemed necessary.”
Mr Hammond added that if any spare diesel rolling stock became available it would be for Transport for Greater Manchester to work with local providers to see how they could be re-deployed.
But Bolton North East MP David Crausby has said he would like to hear from the public on whether they have seen an improvement.
He said: “I still don’t think it is acceptable, but I would like to hear what Bolton commuters think.
“This response seems to be shifting responsibility on to Northern Rail and Transport for Greater Manchester and I think the next move is for the Bolton MPs to sit down with those organisations and discuss this. That is something I am in the process or arranging.”