New trains have been pledged for a Bolton line that have “never, ever been on time” in recent months.

This was heard at a recent meeting of the Bee Network Committee, which oversees public transport across Bolton and the whole of Greater Manchester.

Addressing the meeting, Cllr Sean Fielding, of Breightmet, said he was aware of a range of problems impacting the line from Clitheroe through Bolton and into Manchester, including persistent lateness.

He said: “I am a rail commuter; I use the stopping service from Bolton into Manchester at least two days a week if not more times than that.”

He added: “But one issue that is a massive frustration for me, because I’ve witnessed it on multiple occasions now, is that the train that comes in from Clitheroe, which is the stopping service to Manchester, has never, ever been on time in the 18 months I’ve been using it.”

The Bolton News: Trains are often held up at Bolton StationTrains are often held up at Bolton Station (Image: Newsquest)

Cllr Fielding said that the train often stops at the wrong place on the platform at Moses Gate Station and that often guards have to manually pull levers to open doors, causing further delays.

He said: “I catch the 7.19am from Moses Gate and that is because it sits and waits its time out in Bolton because, with all of the other services that are delayed either coming down from Scotland or from Lancashire, it has to let them get through first so it has never been on time in the 18 months I’ve been catching it.”

Cllr Fielding raised these points at a committee meeting held at Transport for Greater Manchester’s Oxford Street headquarters.

The meeting had been held to discuss rail updates across Greater Manchester along with Metrolink policies and other public transport issues.

In response, Northern regional director Craig Harrop said that the Bolton corridor was known to be “very busy”, with delays often caused by harsh weather conditions and overhead power failures.

He also said that the 7.19am service in particular was affected by a “long train, short platform” situation at Moses Gate.

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But he told the committee that improvements could be on the way.

Mr Harrop said: “We are however looking to improve and introduce more new trains to our fleet and whilst this isn’t going to be in the very near future, and the priority is to recover our core performance, we are identifying a potential supplier for this new fleet of trains.”

Mr Harrop said that Northern hoped to replace as many as 367 older trains on the Clitheroe line with “go anywhere units.”

He said that he hoped the new service would be run by 2028/29 and that all diesel trains would be replaced by 2040.