New report here (PDF)
from the TfGM Committee about proposed timetable changes from December 2012
Key point for Marple is that the second hourly Rose Hill service (xx.51 departure) will now go via the Hyde loop, rather than the far faster, direct Bredbury route as present. Obviously this benefits Woodley, Hyde Central, Hyde North with a twice-hourly service, but means both trains from Rose Hill will now take at least 32 minutes in each direction (vs. a best of 22 mins from Marple!), putting the station at a considerable disadvantage. (I don't know about anyone else, but I do begin to despair when the Pacer is chugging towards Hyde and you seem to be getting further away
from Beetham Tower...)
TfGM have also negotiated for trains from Rose Hill to call additionally at Gorton, rather than those from Hadfield/Glossop as present, which will only further increase journey times. Their thinking being that Hadfield/Glossop is a busy route and this will speed up their
journey times! I can understand these ideas: Rose Hill trains are often emptier and so stopping at more stations would make better use of the service. But it will also make it a very unattractive service to those living towards the end of the line. I sense many passengers switching straight back to Marple.
Several points raised here have been noted - such as the uneven scheduling of departures, requirement for extra Rose Hill evening services - but as you can read below, very little progress will be made on any of those issues. Sunday services from Marple aren't mentioned at all.
Manchester – Marple – New Mills – Sheffield (Piccadilly Eastern Lines)
In December 2011, Members approved a preferred option for this corridor which would divert the second train from Rose Hill to operate via Hyde in the off-peak. At present the second Rose Hill services operates express between Manchester and Romiley, in both directions, running non-stop through the busy stations at Bredbury and Reddish North.
The TfGM Rail Policy (approved in 2011) states that stations with less than 25,000 passengers per annum should have an intermittent service. Therefore, it is also proposed to change stopping patterns at Belle Vue (patronage 12,000 in 2009/10), the least used station on the line.
Members should note that Belle Vue is linked with Manchester city centre by a number of high frequency bus services. Strines (9, 000 in 2009/10) currently has a train every two hours. It is proposed to maintain this frequency, but to balance it with a 2 hourly service at Belle Vue.
The proposed changes will:
• Maintain frequencies at the busiest stations on the route.
• Improve the balance of times at Romiley each hour.
• Extend the journey time for one service per hour to/from Romiley by some 5 minutes, but maintain or improve other journey times.
• Provide a more balanced 2tph service from Rose Hill via Hyde
• Increase the off-peak frequency at Hyde Central, an important local centre in Tameside, to 2 tph.
• Increase the frequency at Guide Bridge (patronage 211,000 in 2009/10) to 4ph.
• Allow Rose Hill services to serve Gorton, in lieu of trains to Hadfield and Glossop, reducing journey times and crowding on that busy route.
• Reduce journey times and so boost patronage on some trains on the line via Bredbury and Reddish North.
Manchester – Marple – New Mills – Sheffield (Goyt Valley)
In the context of the wider revision of Piccadilly Eastern (Goyt Valley) services and the option of a 2 trains per hour (tph) service over the Hyde Loop a review of some calling patterns is justified. Some examples of issues to be addressed (but not all) are outlined below, together with some specific service ideas.
'Wider Marple'. The Marple/Rose Hill areas would probably benefit and patronage could be enhanced if there was wider spacing between Rose Hill and Marple departures. Therefore, if a train is missed at Marple or Rose Hill there should always be time to get to the other station. The difficulties of pathing Piccadilly Eastern (Goyt Valley) services into and out of a busy Manchester Piccadilly terminus has prevented an idea timetable being developed for the route.
Balance of calls at busier stations. The present calling pattern of trains has gaps in frequency at Reddish North (patronage 110,000 pa) and Rose Hill in the peaks. It has not been possible to resolve all the issues for December 2012, but TfGM officers will continue to work with Northern Rail to try to resolve the issues.
Gorton stops – With the introduction of 2 tph via Hyde, it is proposed that the Rose Hill services should stop at Gorton. This will open-up some travel opportunities and will to reduce journey times on the busier Glossop and Hadfield trains. Both should further boost patronage.
Two Trains per hour to New Mills. TfGM Officers working with Northern Rail were able to achieve 2tph to/from New Mills Monday to Friday, at no additional cost. TfGM Officers, working with Derbyshire Country Council, the Hop valley & High Peak Community Rail Partnership (CRP), the South East Manchester CRP and Northern Rail continue to investigate the potential for 2 tph Monday to Saturday. At present the Saturday service would require subsidy.
Early Evening Trains to/from Rose Hill. There is a gap in Rose Hill departures from Piccadilly of 2 hours from 1836 until 2036. TfGM is investigating ways to close this gap.
Later Evening Trains. It has been suggested that there is a strong need for a late evening service to Rose Hill via Hyde loop train. Whilst not part of the changes proposed for December 2012, TfGM Officers are further investigating the issue of later evening trains via Hyde.
Less well used Stations - Of the 14 stations served by Goyt Valley services, 6 have less than 50 passengers per day. The TfGM Rail Policy (approved in 2011) states that stations
with less than 25,000 passengers per annum should have an intermittent service.
Ryder Brow and Belle Vue. Belle Vue and Ryder Brow share catchment areas, and so there is justification for reviewing how best to serve the area by rail .Belle Vue is well served by very frequent buses to/from Manchester City Centre. Ryder Brow is less well served, and is in a regeneration area. There are no proposals to alter the pattern of calls at Ryder Brow, but recognising the Rail Policy criteria, it is proposed that the service at Belle Vue be 2-hourly.
Strines. This train is presently served by a train every two hours. Given the Rail Policy criteria it is proposed that this frequency be retained, and that the station be served by
alternative services to/from New Mills.
Fairfield. – There are plans for some 600 houses within 1 mile or so of the station. The developments are slow at present, but there are already 100 houses on the former station
goods yard. These are a mix of houses, but include 3/4 bedroom properties aimed at professionals. Therefore, it is proposed that Fairfield will retain a 1tph service.
Early morning services from Chinley. At present two of the trains starting from New Mills in the early morning (0613 and 0636) operate as empty stock from Stockport. TfGM Officers are working with Northern Rail to investigate the scope to start these trains from Chinley.