6:00am Thursday 16th January 2014
By Elaine O'Flynn
TRANSPORT bosses have insisted they are doing all they can to help Bolton commuters during the rush hour crush.
Representatives from First Transpennine Express (FPTE), Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Bolton Council met MP David Crausby to see the situation first-hand at Bolton station.
They say that while train services running through Bolton are busy, they are no worse than other parts of Greater Manchester — and that there is a national lack of carriages for commuters.
The meeting follows the launch of The Bolton News’ Let’s Get Back on Track campaign, which is calling on train bosses and the Department for Transport to provide more carriages for peak-hour services.
Kathyrn O’Brien, head of franchise development at FTPE, said that over the past six weeks the company has closely monitored the number of passengers getting on trains.
She added: “We want to thank customers for their understanding and patience while the new timetable has been implemented.
“Our observations to date are that while train services are busy, on the vast majority of occasions all customers are able to board their intended train.
“Additional services have been provided from Preston to Manchester via Wigan and that is freeing up capacity from Bolton.
“We were delighted to welcome Mr Crausby and representatives from TfGM and Bolton Council to the station.
“We are pleased that we were not only able to discuss the situation with them, but they were also able to witness first-hand the successful passenger movements.
“We will continue to work with all parties and continue to lobby for increased capacity options.”
But Mr Crausby, who represents Bolton North East in Parliament, said more still needs to be done.
He added: “At the end of the day it’s not rocket science — there’s not enough carriages.
“I know that everybody is doing their best, but it’s not that complicated. There’s just not enough space and we want more carriages.
“People are entitled to a seat when the authorities have put the prices up.
“We are arguing that people should go to work and not be on benefits — but commuting like this makes life so difficult.
“This problem has been going on for years and years and it needs to stop.”
The Bolton News’ Let’s Get Back On Track campaign is calling for a dramatic improvement to the town’s “cattle truck” rail services.
To support the campaign, sign the petition in our town centre offices and in shops and newsagents around Bolton.
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.
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