I routinely use our local train service off-peak as fares are significantly cheaper than the bus, the journey time is short and with the Northern Rail app on my phone, I get live times and journey tracking so I know when to turn up at that station.

I would like to see increased passenger usage for local off-peak travel to, hopefully, justify improved service levels at smaller stations, though I’m certainly not holding my breath on that one.

My concern is that we have had that massive investment in our local rail infrastructure yet have seen no service level improvements, and I have seen no promise from Northern Rail in that regard. Much talk of new trains and reliability improvements but nothing beyond that.

The Victoria line services do seem to run okay during weekday days, but the Piccadilly line service continues to see long gaps in the service, routine cancellations and overcrowding on that Airport train at pretty much any time of the day.

In addition there is the pathetically poor evening and Sunday services with some stations not served at all. People work in the retail and service sectors, with evening and Sunday shifts and there must be many people dissuaded from taking employment in those sectors due to the difficulty in getting there and back.

People want nights out and trips out on a Sunday, which would contribute to the economy, but are routinely dissuaded from doing so, not least by worrying about missing that last train home.

A town of our size does, I believe, justify a regular, reliable commuter rail service at all stations, seven days a week but it’s just not happening.

Just recently my local MP asked Northern Rail for a stop to be put on the hourly Sunday Wigan to Stalybridge train at Moses Gate, Farnworth and Kearsley — perfectly feasible are there are hardly any trains on those tracks on a Sunday. But the answer was no and there was no indication that Northern Rail had even considered the proposition.

All I’m seeing is more of the same — a railway company failing to take any real advantage of those infrastructure improvements, failing to market the services they do provide, failing to attract new customers. An opportunity missed.

Dave Carter

Campbell Street