On Saturday 26th January 2008, Andrew Gwynne MP joined up with almost 50 local residents from Reddish and Denton and members of the Friends of Reddish South Station to mark twelve months since Network Rail's proposals to close REDDISH SOUTH and DENTON train stations were announced (link below.)
Due to the high profile campaign led by Andrew Gwynne MP, local councillors in Tameside and Stockport, GMPTE, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the Friends Group and hundreds of local residents, Network Rail has backed away from their original closure proposal.
However, the campaign focus is now on securing a proper functioning train service into Manchester Victoria.
Network Rail has also said that it will not pursue , for the time being , the closure of ARDWICK station. However, it will reconsider closure if the stations require significant amounts of money spending on them in the future.
The good news so far is a tribute to those who persuaded Network Rail that long term development could improve the business case for keeping these stations open. We will be keeping a watchful eye on how events progress from here.
We believe the above victory proves that if you campaign hard enough for something , then it CAN be acheived.
Here are two quotes from the original Beeching Report.
We've made a funny little video with a serious message http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/train-fares
The Government should be helping people to cut their carbon footprint by taking the train instead of driving or flying. Instead, it's making it harder for people to go green by increasing fares every year.
Please join Campaign for Better Transport's campaign for cheaper train fares - and tell your friends to join too!
I have been actively contributing to a thread on the First Great Western Coffee Shop forum regarding the changes that have been made to services in the last ten years of a privatised railway. That was when Train Operating Companies had had a couple of years of experience under their belts with this new way of running our railways, and so it is a good test of what the system has delivered passengers over that period of time.
Crossrail is certainly in the news at the moment. No doubt It will be for the next 10 years. Funding for the £16bn project is proving to be fragile, especially considering the financial issues affecting the country at the moment. The scheme also has many critics. Such a cost for a project that will improve the transport links for so few.
I stayed at the Premier Inn on Wednesday night ... in the corner of the junction between two Motorways, and just a couple of miles to where I was training. If you travel on business, you'll know the sort of location - the hotel is attached to a popular pub, there's a car dealership just across the road and a couple of office block. And looking just beyond the office block, you can see Sainsburys. The constand buzz of traffic outside is shielded from you when inside by efficient double glazing.
The hotel's literature rack contains all the usual sorts of thing, and a folder that's been lovingly put together by one of the staff. Vicki, on reception, asks if she can help me with local information and I compliment her on the folder. "Not me" she says, but you can tell she's pleased. "I'm interested in the local railway station" says I, but Vicki tells me that there isn't one. Vicki - sorry - there is a station ... and it's within a hundred yards of this hotel and pub, and within two hundred yards of Sainsburys. It's down a flight of steps just behind a well-lit bus stop at which four routes regularly call. Snag is - only one train a week actually calls there.
In December 2008, as a result of partnership between Devon County Council, First Great Western and North Devon Rail Users Group, an hourly service was introduced on the Barnstaple line.
I fully support this concept, as it is an important step towards ensuring the viability of the line into the future. However, I am concerned that there has actually been a REDUCTION in services at some stations on the route:
CHAPELTON – 8 services per weekday reduced to 5.
PORTSMOUTH ARMS – 8 services per weekday reduced to 7.
Is there a need any longer for campaign groups such as "Save the Train" and CANBER? At least one very knowledgable writer has suggested that they are no longer necessary. That in the current political climate, and with a lot more empowerment brought to the population as a whole by the electronic media, it would be a fool's errand to propose a closure because of the Tsunami it would raise.
Well - there's closure, and there's effective closure. Just last month, an hourly service on one line was replaced by a daily service in one direction only, and a two or three times daily round trip on another line was replace by a weekly round trip by bus.
You're better off living in Scotland or Wales. At least you are if you like the idea of shiny new stations and reopened railway lines. Admittedly, for many of us, the number of schemes even there has been woefully lacking, but at least there has been a steady stream of re-openings, the latest of note being the Ebbw Vale line in the Cardiff valleys. Passenger numbers on this link alone have already exceeded expectation for two years time. Can you think of a re-opened station or line that hasn't been a great success?
Here is the response from the Government to our petition regarding the withdrawal of the Walsall-Wolverhampton passenger rail service (link below) :
"The rail service between Walsall and Wolverhampton operates at hourly intervals taking 15 minutes for the 7 mile journey. It is a shuttle service requiring one single car train to operate it.
Prior to December 2005, Doleham, Three Oaks And Winchelsea used to be served by an hourly service between Ashford and Hastings. However, most of the stops at these stations were withdrawn when this service was expanded to run through to Brighton.
There are now three trains a day in each direction calling at these stations, but these generally run at inconvenient times early in the morning or late at night. As a result, annual passenger numbers have massively dropped as follows (financial years, 2006/07 being the first year to show true impact of service cuts) :