Marple Community Forum & Noticeboard

Local Community => Local Issues => Topic started by: Steve Gribbon on May 12, 2022, 01:54:34 PM

Title: Transport issues
Post by: Steve Gribbon on May 12, 2022, 01:54:34 PM
Good afternoon.
A couple of local points of information regarding our transport network for your information.

Rail: This morning I have written to stakeholders involved with the timetable and scheduling of train services that attend where we live. With the removal of the 16.20 service I have asked for details of why this has happened and what was the criteria for such a decision. I have also asked for it be re-instated immediately. Granted there is a facility at Rose Hill but many people using Marple do so for good reason including proximity to where they live and it is may be where they have parked a vehicle.

Pedestrian crossings: This morning I have written to the head of highways for SMBC expressing a concern for residents crossing busy sections of our roads. I have asked for 3 crossing areas to be looked at for some form of crossing to be installed: Compstall Road near the Northumberland Arms; Marple Rail Station and further up Stockport Road where the canal system is.

I will update on here as and when any reply is received.

Kind regards

Title: Re: Transport issues
Post by: andrewbowden on May 12, 2022, 02:12:10 PM
Hi Steve - did you mean the 16:20 from Rose Hill?  If so, it looks like there will be a train at 16:14 from Rose Hill from Monday when the new timetable comes in.

But what Northern Rail giveth, Northern Rail taketh-away, for they're axing several services running through Marple.  Marple's been running mostly a half hour service recently, but from Monday some of the afternoon services are being withdrawn putting it down to hourly.  Rose Hill's still also going to be a long way off its pre-Covid half hourly service.  It really is a mess and doesn't encourage anyone to use the railways.  I work from home mostly, but the state of the trains is such that next time I am going to the office, I'm looking at cycling instead.  Ironically Google Maps tells me it will be five minutes faster by bike than the train!

(To provide some good news - Northern are currently running mostly six car trains at weekend through Marple, which is a vast improvement in capacity.)

And I am sure I join many in saying those pedestrian crossings are long overdue!  The canal's an awkward spot to cross due to visibility, and it's crazy that you can get off a train and spend five minutes waiting for a safe crossing. 
Title: Re: Transport issues
Post by: Steve Gribbon on May 12, 2022, 06:14:54 PM
Hi Andrew, good to hear from you

It was in respect of the 1620 from Piccadilly but since the original message there appears to be other service reductions which is causing issues for residents. I have raised this as a formal complaint and at the same time offered to meet stakeholders at their earliest convenience to fight for our services to be reinstated.

Thanks for your support regarding the crossings, I have made it clear that this won't go away. If we are encouraging people to walk/ride/use public transport then increased safety and quality of service must be put in place.

Kind regards

Title: Re: Transport issues
Post by: Steve Gribbon on May 13, 2022, 11:44:26 AM
Good morning

Further to the messages regarding the local train service reductions, I have been speaking to a Northern Rail manager about the matter.

The manager has stated the reduction has happened because of the need for driver training and because of post covid staff shortages.

Whilst so many different services have suufered because of the pandemic I have explained that it doesn’t offer a reason why peak services are being reduced along with the impact it has on residents. I have asked for the peak services to be resumed and a non-peak service be temporarily paused such as a mid morning train. The manager has taken away my suggestion for consideration and will get back to me with any information.

I’m not overly optimistic it will work but at least it is an effort to try and work with Northern and get higher capacity services back running. I will of course update with any response.

Kind regards
Title: Re: Transport issues
Post by: Dave on May 14, 2022, 07:49:32 PM
We’ll done Steve. Thanks for the update and keep up the good work. 👍
Title: Re: Transport issues
Post by: Steve Gribbon on May 31, 2022, 08:18:16 PM
Good evening

A final shot at trying to get some of our services back, please see below:

Over the past 4 weeks I have been speaking with rail officers regarding a reduction in services to our area and with carriage/capacity issues. I have done this by email and online meetings as posted on here previously.
I have met with an officer on Monday who listened and discussed local matters. The reduction in train services have left other trains full to maximum which can affect vulnerable people amongst others and the trains constantly running full is not good when ventilation is needed for fresh air reasons.
I have asked on behalf of residents/commuters for a return to peak time services and to reduce (if they have to, although it is just not just our area affected) remove the least populated services such as late morning. Along with this is a request for extra carriages to make commuting safer and more pleasant.
The officer has agreed to take these requests to senior officials and will get back to me when a decision is made, hopefully very soon so at least we know where we stand. I remain cautious about any success with this but every effort has been made to get some services returned and at the very least make sure that residents are represented at TfGM level.

Kind regards

Title: Re: Transport issues
Post by: Dave on June 01, 2022, 05:27:10 PM
Well done for plugging away at this Steve!

However, like you, I'm not optimistic.  We know Northern Trains, like other rail operators, are short staffed, and no doubt they are having to plan their rosters and timetables around that, rather than around patterns of passenger demand.   

And I fear the request for 'extra carriages' is unlikely to achieve anything, because the Class 195 trains which we now have on this line are diesel multiple units, in fixed two or three car formations.  So you can't just add 'extra carriages' - you have to add an entire two or three-car DMU, and it's highly unlikely that they just happen to have a few spares lying around. 

But at least we've now got decent trains at last.  It was a long wait.........  ::)
Title: Re: Transport issues
Post by: andrewbowden on June 01, 2022, 06:43:13 PM
They've probably got a few spare due to all the cancelled trains.  Actually must be said they're currently running six car trains at weekend.

It does say something about the national rail network that there are these issues.  If you go to London you'll find London Underground is running quite happily.  The blame is always Covid but frankly it feels to me that the real problem is lack of investment from the government