I am lobbying Transport for the North to include regular Sunday services for Farnworth, Kearsley and Moses Gate railway stations. It is vitally important that my constituents have access to reliable transport and are not disconnected from the wider metropolitan network of the North West.
I have written to Barry White, the Chief Executive of Transport for the North, to advocate for change.
In my letter I wrote: ‘A number of my constituents have contacted me following the roll-out of Northern Rail’s new timetable, to express their disappointment that a Sunday rail service for Moses Gate, Farnworth and Kearsley railway stations has not been included in the timetable.
‘They, and I, believe that this leaves residents in these townships cut-off and excluded from social and economic activities that residents of other townships and central Bolton can enjoy on Sundays.’
‘If possible, we would like to see the introduction of a funding mechanism that works to provide Sunday services to the smaller townships of the North which are often neglected and omitted from the transport nexus.’
I have previously raised this issue in Parliament in the form of a Parliamentary Question, asking the Secretary of State for Transport: ‘whether there are plans to introduce a Sunday rail service for Moses Gate, Farnworth and Kearsley stations?’
Transport Minister Andrew Jones replied stating: ‘There are currently no plans to introduce a Sunday rail service at these stations as part of Northern’s franchise agreement, the specification for which was developed in consultation with local authorities and Transport for the North.
‘Whilst the railway needs to balance passenger and stakeholder aspirations with the practical and economic viability of running additional services, ideas for these can always be put forward for consideration to Transport for the North.’
A spokesperson for Northern Rail said: ‘historically, there has been no Sunday or evening service at Moses Gate, Farnworth and Kearsley stations.’
‘There is, unfortunately, no requirement in Northerns contracted Train Service Requirement (TSR) for Sunday services to call here.’
This is to the very clear detriment of my constituents. It is wholly unacceptable that the contract with Northern would not seek to include these significant Bolton towns. That is why I am seeking change and lobbying Transport for the North.