RAIL passengers using Kearsley and Moses Gate stations are set to see the number of services stopping there double if recommendations for a revised timetable are accepted.

At a full council meeting, Bolton’s transport chief said passengers could expect two services per hour from May 2022.

That would improve on the current hourly service.

The changes will happen if recommendations by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) are accepted by the Department for Transport and Network Rail.

Cllr Stuart Haslam, cabinet member for highways and transport, also told the meeting that the Manchester Airport to Cumbria service would also return to Bolton after being taken away three years ago and that all services to and from Manchester to Scotland would now stop in the town, not just off peak services.

The update came after a question to Cllr Haslam from Cllr Mark Cunningham, who described the ‘abysmal’ current service for residents in the south of Bolton.

He said: “The people of Kearsley living close to the railway line have now endured more than five years of disruption due to the electrification work of the Manchester to Preston line.

“There has been mess, aggravation and damage to the property with no tangible benefits.

“The train service for Kearsley remains abysmal with only one train per hour meaning that most residents still have to drive or get taxis to go to Trinity Street before they can catch a train.”

Cllr Haslam said Kearsley had suffered from ‘a very poor train for many many years’ and that 40, 200 people used the station last year.

He said: “Passengers in Bolton have suffered appalling delays and cancellations, mainly caused by congestion at the Castlefield Chord.

“There is set to be an improved situation there reducing trains there from from 15 to 12 per hour.

“The GMCA are submitting proposals for the 10 Greater Manchester boroughs and we’ve been active to get the best deal for Bolton.

“If these proposals are accepted there will be two trains per hour from Kearsley and Moses Gate giving the most frequent service in decades.

“This will also support regeneration in these areas.

“Also included in the GMCA submission is the return to Bolton of the Manchester Airport to Cumbria service taken away three years ago and the Manchester Airport to Scotland services will stop at Bolton.”

He said this would mean two further Piccadilly-bound trains per day and four to Manchester Victoria.