Rail bosses urged to rethink plans for controversial timetable changes in Leeds


Embattled train operator Northern Rail has come under renewed fire ahead of a timetables shake-up which could inconvenience hundreds of passengers a day in Leeds.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) says revised schedules being introduced by the operator next month will mean the withdrawal of direct services between stations in east Leeds and places including Bradford and Halifax.

News of the changes comes six months after the botched implementation of another set of timetables caused major disruption for rail users across the North.

Staff at Northern have also staged dozens of days of industrial action since March last year in a dispute over guards on trains.

Leeds City Council leader and WYCA member Coun Judith Blake said: “We are urgently taking this issue up with Northern Rail and Transport for the North to make the case for the restoration of these services.

“Once again we are seeing decisions being taken by rail industry officials with little or no consideration of the impacts on passengers which, given we are still dealing with the impact of the calamitous timetable change in May, indicates lessons have not yet been learned.”

A Northern spokesman said the new schedules were part of a push to provide improved “inter urban express services” for the region.

The spokesman added: “These changes were consulted with all parties last year, and at that time no concern was expressed with regard to the proposed changes.”