Local MP, David Rutley, was joined by Liam Sumpter (Northern’s Regional Director), and Matthew Worman (Regional Stakeholder Manager), for a review of the facilities and services at local train stations, including Disley, Poynton, Adlington and Middlewood.
The group was joined by local Disley councillors, including Cheshire East councillor Harold Davenport, on a visit to Disley train station, where they discussed the need for future enhancements to station facilities, particularly car parking, and the need for improvements to the frequency of train services. David and local councillors stressed the importance of improving rail services for local residents ahead of the completion of the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road, which is predicted to lead to a 30 per cent increase in traffic on the A6 in Disley.
As part of its network-wide £1 billion investment programme – running from this year through to 2020 – Northern confirmed that it has plans to carry out train service and station improvements for Disley commuters in the months ahead, including the introduction of ticket machines, new CCTV provision and upgraded lighting and shelters. Fully refurbished carriages with WiFi will be introduced, as the train operator responds to a projected 40 per cent uplift in passenger volumes in the years ahead. Mr Sumpter confirmed that Northern would be carrying out a full parking assessment at Disley in the near future and he hoped that parking issues could then be more fully addressed.
Later, the group visited Poynton Civic Centre and were joined by Poynton councillors Jos Saunders and Charles Gorst to review what action could be taken to tackle car parking issues at and around Poynton and Adlington stations. Northern confirmed that Poynton will see an increase to two trains per hour during the day on Mondays to Saturdays from May 2018, with the introduction of a new hourly Macclesfield to Blackpool service. Mr Sumpter also highlighted that both Poynton and Adlington will benefit from an enhanced Sunday service from May 2018, with an hourly service in place of the current 5 trains per day.
This was followed by a review of current train services at Middlewood station. Unlike Poynton and Adlington, an enhanced Middlewood service is not specified in Northern’s franchise, so the company’s representatives were asked to consider more regular stops at the station to better serve local commuters.
Following the visits David said: “I am most grateful to Northern senior executives for taking the time to meet me and local councillors to review train services at local stations. With the predicted increases in traffic congestion, particularly in Disley, and the growing demand for train services, it is more important than ever that local train passengers see improvements to the frequency of train services and the quality of train carriages. I am also pleased that Northern is reviewing car parking arrangements at local train stations, as they are important for commuters and local residents alike.”