Overcrowded trains problem is local issue, says government
BOLTON’S overcrowded trains are the responsibility of Network Rail and not the government, according to the transport secretary.
Bolton North East MP David Crausby wrote to the Department for Transport asking for more diesel trains to be made available for Bolton commuters.
But Stephen Hammond, the under secretary of state for transport, said the issue was down to Network Rail and local operators.
Many rail services are being redirected though Wigan over the next two years as the line is electrified.
But Mr Hammond said: “The rail industry is responsible for developing train service plans for the period that the works are under way on the route via Bolton.
“It is for Network Rail and operators to determine how best to meet the needs of local stakeholders whilst ensuring delivery of Bolton line electrification efficiently to meet the 2016 deadline.”
The government minister’s response appears to be at odds with that of Prime Minister David Cameron who last week promised to “look at the issue” of overcrowded trains in Bolton.
Mr Crausby, who has thrown his weight behind The Bolton News’ Let’s Get Back on Track campaign, calling for peak time services to be restored while electrification work is being carried out, said: “I specifically asked the government to intervene and ensure that Bolton receives more diesel trains to tackle overcrowding.
“Now that other lines have been electrified there must be carriages available that can no longer be used in those areas.
“I will not allow this to go unanswered and I have written to the government again. The minister responsible for this area didn’t seem to have any interest in providing extra carriages when I wrote to him, so I am pleased that the Prime Minister has now taken a personal interest and I hope that this will bring about a speedy resolution.
“People travelling to and from Bolton are already feeling packed in like sardines, so I have written to the Prime Minister to ask how he will be taking this issue forward.”
In an interview with The Bolton News last week, Mr Cameron heard about our new campaign and said there was a problem with congestion.
He said: “If it’s possible to have more carriages added to Bolton services, I will go away and look into it.”
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