MP Jonathan Reynolds has sought assurances that investment in railways in Greater Manchester will not lead to fewer local train services.
Earlier this week Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening announced a further £4.2 billion for a range of improvements to the rail network across the country.
The Government has previously announced plans to electrify the railways from Manchester to Liverpool, Preston and across the Pennines.
And now they have given the go-ahead to other track and capacity upgrades, that make-up the so-called Northern Hub proposals.
In general terms the planned improvements should increase rail capacity and speed up journey times. However decisions about rail services are determined independently from the decisions about infrastructure. And that means there is no certainty that the newly electrified line between Manchester and Leeds will mean a better service for users of stations in Stalybridge and Mossley.
Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has been made aware of some concerns that increasing inter-city services between Leeds and Manchester could mean fewer services stopping at local stations, such as Stalybridge and Mossley.
So on Monday – following the latest funding announcement - he raised the issue with Secretary of State Justine Greening. Following the exchange in the House of Commons Mr Reynolds said: "Transport links are vitally important to our region – so I am delighted that the proposals that make up the Northern Hub have now got the green light.
"At the heart of these plans is the electrification of the train lines between Manchester and Leeds – which could lead to six trains an hour running through the Stalybridge and Hyde constituency.
"Stations in Stalybridge and Mossley are particularly well used by commuters travelling to Manchester and to Leeds. And I hope that these plans will increase the capacity and the frequency of the service.
"However like many local people I am concerned that more frequent inter-city services might be at the expense of local services which stop at each station.
"Indeed it has been suggested that an increase in the number of faster inter-city services could have a detrimental impact on the number of services stopping at local stations, such as Stalybridge and Mossley.
"In the House of Commons I sought an assurance from the Secretary of State that this investment would improve rail services for everyone.
"And in the coming months I will continue to call for a guarantee that the investment will mean a better service for people in our area – who have had to put up with over-crowded trains for too long."
Mr Reynolds raised the issue with the Secretary of State following her announcement about Rail Investment on July 16, 2012.
Published July 17, 2012