PASSENGERS have been promised more reliable train services when the rail timetables change this weekend.

Northern, which runs the majority of Bolton's trains will implement its new plan from Sunday, December 15, to coincide with changes across the country.

The company has promised to bring "more reliability and stability" to its customers following the switch.

Most services through the town will remain unchanged although there will be two more trains every hour running between Bolton and Southport.

In the last few months Northern's performance has taken a significant drop, with 20 percent of services arriving late in October and November and nearly five percent cancelled entirely.

“Our December timetable change will give us the opportunity to look where we can make improvements to the timings of our services – and use this to bring more reliability and stability for our customers," said Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern.

“We will not be making wholesale changes, but will amend many timetables, so our customers need to plan carefully for travel after December 15.”

Mr Jackson also says the new timetable will allow Northern to introduce 50 another 20 of its new trains by the end of the year.

Jeff Davies, chair of Bolton Rail Users Group (BRUG), says the problems come down in part to the extremely crowded Castlefield Corridor - an area of track close to Deansgate station which becomes choked-up during busy periods.

He said: "Our services are never going to be completely right until something is done about the serious congestion on the line between Salford and Piccadilly."

The new timetable is introduced on Sunday, December 15, with a new weekday timetable going live on Monday, December 16.