MORE than 700 people have backed The Bolton News' campaign for more carriages on the town’s “cattle truck” railway services.
We are calling for railway bosses to dramatically improve Bolton’s overcrowded trains and reinstate axed peak-hour carriages.
Let’s Get Back On Track has been backed by Bolton’s MPs.
We have met with railway bosses to voice your concerns, the issue has been debated in Parliament and The Bolton News political correspondent, Elaine O’Flynn, even raised the problem with Prime Minister David Cameron.
Now, 718 people have signed our petition and shared horror stories of the battles faced by the average Bolton commuter.
Bradshaw resident Andrew Cain says he has no choice but to commute from Hall i’th’ Wood to Manchester Victoria every day, as his wife uses the family car.
The 37-year-old added: “Overcrowding, punctuality and quality of trains/carriages are an issue, but the main problem is overcrowding.
“I have seen pregnant women collapsing, passengers getting embroiled in fights due to the stress and arguments over space and queuing.
“I’ve compared it to one of those old nostalgic films set in Delhi whereby the train rolls in, arms and legs hanging out of the windows and people sat on the train roof.
“It is horrendous — without exaggeration.”
David Moy, aged 64, of Tonge Moor, travels via Bolton station every day.
He said: “I have witnessed almost violent incidents on Bolton Station, especially about 7.55am when people just cannot board the train.
“Station staff have been subject to verbal abuse. People are herded like cattle on to these trains and expected to pay for the privilege — what a joke.”
Christine Hebenton, of Darcy Lever, said improving Bolton’s railway service was vital to making sure it becomes a thriving town once more.
“The link to Manchester and other regions is vital and we should capitalise on the railway station as such an important asset”, she added.
“Apart from the economic benefits, the health and safety of commuters is of paramount importance and requires urgent attention.
“Anyone with a heart condition or any disability is seriously at risk in the crowded conditions on Bolton’s trains.”
Sign our petition – pop into our office at The Wellsprings in Victoria Square, opposite Bolton Town Hall, or sign online.
If you would be happy to have a copy of the petition in your shop, please call us on 01204 537239.