THE MP for Bolton West has demanded assurances from the government that no more trains will be taken from the north to ease congestion in the south.

Julie Hilling tackled transport minister Patrick McLoughlin on the issue in Parliament, following the announcement nine trains from First Transpennine Express would be re-directed to Chiltern Railways.

Ms Hilling, a driving force behind The Bolton News’ ‘Let’s Get Back On Track’ campaign – which has called for more carriages and a better service on Bolton’s railway service –was speaking during a special committee looking at rail in the north of England last week.

She asked: “Given the loss of nine trains already to the south of England, what steps is the Secretary of State taking to ensure that more trains cannot be taken from Transpennine Express or Northern Rail during the direct award period before the franchise is re-let in 2016?”

Mr McLoughlin, secretary of state for transport, said his government was committed to improving rail services across the north of England.

He added: “I understand very much the case that the honourable lady makes for the services in Bolton, and I am keen to see those services improved and increased.

“As a result of the huge amount of money we are spending on investment in the railway sector, her constituents will get a far better railway in the future than they had under the previous government.”