TRAINS between Scotland and Manchester are set to begin calling at Bolton again but local commuters will not be allowed on.

TransPennine Express (TPE) this week confirmed that it will begin running these services from “later this summer” but that passengers will be stopped from using them to travel between Bolton and central Manchester stations.

The decision has been met with a mixed response from passengers, with Jeff Davies, chair of the borough’s Rail Users Group, calling the change “disappointing”.

He said: “We’re disappointed that Bolton people are not able to benefit from the full use of these trains.

"We have been aware for some time that this would happen and have been trying to persuade them not to do it.

"They seem to be very frightened about the extent of the overcrowding that Bolton has been suffering from and they are concerned about the damage this could do to their services.”

Campaigners from the Rail Users Group have been pushing for the return of Scottish services since the route was diverted through Wigan in 2013.

The trains were stopped when work began to electrify the railway lines through Bolton. Despite this project finally being completed earlier this year, TPE has been waiting for clarification from governing body the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to confirm trains can travel at 100mph on the line.

Now that confirmation has been received a the company has clarified that its Anglo-Scottish trains are meant for long distance journeys rather than the short trips between Bolton and the city.

“Those travelling to and from Bolton will soon benefit from improved connectivity and additional journey opportunities to Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme, Penrith, Carlisle, Edinburgh and Glasgow,” they said.

“Later this summer, we are planning to commence stopping our Anglo-Scottish services at Bolton during off-peak hours and we will let customers know once the date is confirmed.

“These services will be pick up and set down only, meaning only those making long-distance journeys will be able to board or leave the train here.

“Customers making short distance journeys between Bolton into Manchester should continue to board local stopping services.”

Cllr Stuart Haslam, Bolton Council’s executive cabinet member for transport, said the process of bringing the services back to Bolton had taken an “unacceptably long time”.

He said: "It's been a long battle to get any train service round here in the first place.

"I'm disappointed that it's not going to be a complete service because the people of Bolton are entitled to the same rights as those from Manchester and Preston.

"But, it's a step in the right direction. We have had a long battle to get these services to stop in Bolton, the fight has got to continue so that we can get all trains to stop at Bolton."

Further information, including the number of services which will pass through Bolton each day and the starting date for the timetable change are set to be released in the next few weeks.

TPE is currently in discussions with Network Rail over the details of the project.