RAIL users in Farnworth and Kearsley can now to get to London in just two and a half hours. 

Farnworth and Kearsley First councillor Paul Heslop wrote to Virgin Trains asking them to update their booking system to reflect that people living in the towns can reach the capital with just one change at Wigan North Western. 

Previously, passengers booking tickets were told they must change twice at Salford Crescent and Manchester Piccadilly.

Cllr Heslop said: “It’s a much shorter journey if you go through Wigan, but it was directing people through Salford and Manchester

“The trains are a big issue for us and they’re going to become increasingly important for the Farnworth Masterplan and an increasing population. 

Passengers could previously travel via Wigan, but it required buying two separate tickets and prior knowledge of train routes. 

Cllr Heslop believes that the Wigan journey is a much more appealing one for anyone travelling to the capital, especially in the morning.

He added: “You had to do an awful lot of research rather than now, when you can just buy a ticket. 

“Getting across Manchester Piccadilly with loads of baggage or with mobility issues can be a nightmare as well.

“Even at Kearsley station, going towards Manchester in a morning is hellish and it’s much easier and quieter to hop on towards Wigan on the other side.

“The trains are usually a lot more spacious as well.”

In June, Farnworth and Kearsley First councillors called for urgent improvements to the ‘appalling’ rail service in the area.

No trains run from Farnworth, Kearsley or Moses Gate on Sundays, with rail operator Northern blaming “finite resources”.

Cllr Heslop said the party will not be resting on their laurels and that getting a Sunday service implemented is very much still on their agenda.

He said: “This is a great step but there’s still a long way to go. Hopefully our next move can be to get the Sunday trains sorted and added connectivity with Manchester.

“It would be good if they could do some special ticket price deals, because at the moment they just add the price it costs to get from Wigan to London, to the ticket price from Farnworth to Wigan.”

The Bolton News has approached Virgin Trains for comment.