RAIL passengers faced delays yesterday when coaches replaced trains running through Bolton.

Services from Manchester to Preston are being replaced by coaches every Sunday up to and including February 10, because of engineering works.

Throughout yesterday, coaches arrived up to 30 minutes late at Bolton and one driver admitted to passengers: “It wouldn’t be so bad if the timetable we have been given wasn’t impossible to keep to.”

Passengers said they were unhappy about what they saw as a lack of organisation on the line. Joanne Simmons, aged 34, of Adlington, said: “I got on at Adlington and am going to Manchester. The coach stopped at Lostock even though no one got on or off. It would have been easy for the rail staff at the station to radio through to the coach and establish that there was no need to stop — instead we have unnecessary delays.”

Another passenger, who did not want to be named, said: “I got on at Chorley and only found out trains weren’t running after I bought my ticket. Had I known, I would’ve gone over the road to the bus station and caught the bus, which would have been quicker and cheaper.”

A National Rail spokesman said the works had been advertised at stations and online for two months. He added: “On these days, train services from Preston are being diverted to operate via Wigan North Western and will not call at Buckshaw Parkway, Chorley, Horwich Parkway, Bolton or Salford Crescent.

“We apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused.”