REPORTER Dale Haslam continues his regular blog about his daily train commute in and out of Bolton
AN important decision will soon be taken that will impact on Bolton train users for a decade.
The Government is considering which companies should run train services through Bolton over the next few years and it needs to present interested firms with a list of expectations.
Transport bosses are asking passengers what they would like on that list and the deadline to have your say is August 18.
The aim, the Government says, is to create “a world-class railway for the whole of the North of England” — but the proposals for Bolton appear to be mixed at best.
Works are currently under way to electrify the line between Manchester to Preston via Bolton by December, 2016, and we are told it will make journeys faster and greener.
But the consultation document recommends that services between Manchester and Glasgow and Edinburgh go via Wigan rather than Bolton.
There used to be a dozen or so of these trains passing through Bolton to or from Manchester Airport each day and their diversion away from Bolton has, arguably, caused congestion on commuter trains.
As Bolton rail enthusiast Jeff Davies put it: “If the proposals stay as they are, this important line passing through Bolton will become just like any old local commuter railway. Even with electrification, we are likely to have a service provided solely by slower and older trains. Passengers travelling north of Preston will continue to have to change at Preston.”
One welcome option mentioned in the consultation document is “an enhanced train service between Bolton and Blackburn to be funded by Blackburn with Darwen Council”.
But, worryingly, there is no requirement of train providers to reduce overcrowding on trains, although the Government seems to be asking them to do it.
To take part in the consultation, visit tinyurl.com/boltonrailsurvey or email NorthernTPEconsultation firstname.lastname@example.org