Let's get back on track - we launch campaign to reinstate our axed train services
TODAY The Bolton News launches a campaign demanding that transport bosses reinstate axed peak-hour carriages.
The Let’s Get Back On Track campaign is calling for a dramatic improvement to the town’s "cattle market" rail services.
This follows our report yesterday which revealed that from next week, First Trans-Pennine Express will run fewer services to and from Manchester — and that a busy morning commuter train will have its carriages reduced from six to just three.
Rail users in Bolton have told The Bolton News how they are already suffering due to overcrowded services and are dreading the changes coming into force from Sunday.
We are asking frustrated passengers to add their name to our petition — which we will then present to transport bosses.
Let’s Get Back On Track is being backed by Bolton’s three MPs and the town’s leading political figures.
MP David Crausby, who represents Bolton North East, has already voiced his concern at the overcrowding on Bolton rail services in a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport.
He said: “I will absolutely be backing this campaign — this is not something that we should take lying down.
“We can’t tolerate it and I would urge everyone to get in touch with The Bolton News and sign this petition. I will be signing it myself.”
Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi will be another adding her name to our petition She said: “I am backing this one hundred per cent — I have raised this issue with train companies and will continue to fight it.”
Bolton West MP Julie Hilling added: “It is important for a local newspaper to stand up for issues like this and I think this petition is a great idea.”
Bolton Council’s political leaders have also pledged their support to the campaign, with council leader, Cllr Cliff Morris describing the situation as “nonsense”.
He said: “We have been asking for five years for the situation to be improved, so I will certainly be supporting the campaign — this is a really big issue for the people of Bolton and I will be asking our members on the Transport for Greater Manchester board to bring it up.”
Leader of the Conservative party in Bolton, David Greenhalgh said that Bolton is at risk of “being overlooked”.
He added: “We are one of the largest towns in the country with a lot of big investment here and to cut back on services and carriages sends out the wrong message to people and businesses — I completely support the campaign.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Bolton, Roger Hayes, is a regular rail user and said the journey between Bolton and Manchester could be “horrendous”.
He said: “I am very much behind the campaign.”
To support the Let’s Get Back On Track campaign, simply sign the petition which is in our town centre offices and in shops and newsagents around Bolton.
Alternatively download your own petition here (Let's Get Back on Track petition.pdf) and collect signatures.
You can also sign an online petition on our website.
Forms can be picked up from The Bolton News office in the Wellsprings building next to the Town Hall.
Please return completed petitions to Let’s Get Back On Track, Editorial Department, The Bolton News, The Wellsprings, Civic Centre, Bolton, BL1 1AR.
If you would like to have a petition in your shop, call 01204 537239.
We will be presenting the petition to rail bosses and demanding action.
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