COUNCILLORS in Farnworth and Kearsley have called for urgent improvements to the “appalling” rail service in the areas.

During the week, trains running between Stalybridge and Wigan North Western stop at Farnworth, Kearsley and Moses Gate, but on a Sunday all three stations are missed out.

Kearsley councillor Paul Heslop said: “I try to use the train as often as possible including short trips from Kearsley to Bolton, but the services to our towns can only be described as appalling. “

Farnworth councillor Maureen Flitcroft thinks one of the biggest problems is for people going to or returning from holiday.

Cllr Flitcroft said: “If your flight arrives into Manchester Airport on a Sunday morning, there are likely to be no direct trains to Bolton, let alone Farnworth.

“There are taxis but by the time you’ve paid the fare, tipped the driver and paid the drop off fee, you are looking at about £34 for a taxi trip which compares to £6.40 fare by train that is available to residents in other towns around Farnworth and Kearsley.”

Rail operator Northern put the service down to lack of resources.

A spokesman said: “Sadly we have finite resources and have to ensure the services we run fit alongside those of other operators. This means we cannot always run the services we, and our customers, would like in an ideal world.

“We will, however, continue to work with local communities and colleagues in the rail industry to seek new ways to open more journey opportunities for our customers.”