Commuters warned of disruption with introduction of new train timetables
Commuters are warned of potential disruption on the country's rail network ahead of Monday's rush hour, despite the introduction of a new timetable with the industry promising more services and new routes following infrastructure investment and upgraded carriages.
The changes - which take place from today - will include 1,000 extra services a week, on top of the 4,000 introduced over the past two years, according to the industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).
Train timetables are changed twice a year, in May and December.
The botched change in May 2018 led to chaos, and passenger watchdog Transport Focus said travellers would be hoping for a smoother introduction with the latest changes.
The RDG sought to reassure passengers over the upcoming timetable, stating that the industry has put “years of work into drafting, consulting and planning for these changes”.
Here in Yorkshire, both Northern and Transpennine Express have introduced new timetables across their networks and bosses are advising customers to check their route before they travel.
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “Our December timetable change will give us the opportunity to look where we can make improvements to the timings of our services – and use this to bring more reliability and stability for our customers.
"We will not be making wholesale changes, but will amend many timetables, so our customers need to plan carefully for travel after 15 December.”
Transpennine Express will now run a new early morning service from Sheffield to Cleethorpes and a new later last service of the day between Cleethorpes and Sheffield.
There will also be new ‘clockface’ departure services at Leeds towards Manchester Victoria and Manchester Victoria towards Leeds.
Departure times on the Hull route service will be 25 minutes later than the current timetable with fewer station stops en route to Manchester during off peak times.
Leo Goodwin, Managing Director for TransPennine Express, said: “In recent weeks our customers will have noticed that we have had to cancel a number of our services and we are truly sorry for the inconvenience that this has caused.
“To mitigate this, we will be running a temporary amended timetable on our Liverpool to Edinburgh services to ensure that we can have the trains and crew that we need to run our services, alongside providing training on our new Nova fleets of trains.
“However, while this is a temporary decrease in our services, overall we will be providing an increase of over 30% in capacity for our customers. Alongside this we are pleased to offer greater connectivity for our customers with the launch of new direct services between Liverpool and Glasgow, as well as new journey opportunities to communities across the North with several new destinations, which is good news for all of our customers.”
Customers are advised to plan ahead and check their services online here.