Leeds commuters could face long wait for more trains

Commuters board a train at Horsforth Station, Leeds.
Commuters board a train at Horsforth Station, Leeds.
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Commuters could face a lengthy wait for additional trains to help ease rail journeys into Leeds.

Travellers were hoping that the newly built turnback at Horsforth Station would mean that more frequent trains could operate between the town and Leeds to help ease crowding during busy times.

But there are fears that three additional trains on the line every day might not be introduced until 2014 or even 2019.

Local councillor Chris Townsley (Lib Dem, Horsforth) said that he thought additional trains would use the route as soon as the turnback was completed this year.

He said: “We’re not going to get more trains.

“I thought the whole point of building it was to get more trains between Horsforth and Leeds.

“It might not happen until 2019 and it is absolutely disgusting.

“There is hardly any place to breathe on these things and residents have had to put up with the huge upset while the work was carried out.”

He said that commuters are already faced cramped journeys when they use the line.

Coun Townsley said that residents living on Sussex Avenue have endured weeks of disruption while construction work was carried out.

He added: “Currently commuters are squashed in like rows of sardines.

“However, we all knew that at least this problem would be solved by having additional rolling stock.

“Now it beggars belief that even when completed we will not see these additional facilities to help rail travellers until either a new franchise has been agreed.”

The turnback, which will allow Northern Rail to run a shuttle service between Horsforth and Leeds, is part of a £16 million package of work on the Harrogate to Leeds line.

Network Rail has also installed a new signalling system to help improve the reliability of the route.

A spokeswoman from Network Rail said that the turnback would be used to cope with future increases in capacity on the rail network.

She added: “It will be brought into use and when it is required to be used.”

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