Rochdale Council hits out at Government rail cuts

July 23, 2009 12:00 AM

Rochdale's Transport Boss, Councillor Peter Evans, calling on the Government to stick to their promises!Rochdale Council has expressed its opposition to the Government's recent announcement that it will be cutting support to Greater Manchester's rail network by £8million a year as of October 2009.

The call, which comes from a notice of motion that was put forward by the Liberal Democrats at this week's full Council Meeting, was proposed by Councillor Peter Evans and seconded by Councillor Peter Davison.

The Department for Transport had previously said they would be working with Network Rail towards 2014 to relieve congestion on the 'sardine express' and have now come out to say that 106 carriages are being added to the line instead of the 180 which were promised. This will simply not be enough and this week the Rochdale Borough Council deplored "the 40% cut from 182 to just 106 new railway carriages in Government's order for the Northern Rail franchise."

Councillor Peter Evans who proposed the Notice of Motion, said: "Greater Manchester has some of the oldest stock in the United Kingdom. Northern Rail has had no new carriages for the past five years, whereas franchises providing commuter services in London and the south-east have had 580 new carriages over the same period. This is another example of this Labour Government putting the interests of London before Greater Manchester yet again."

Councillor Peter Davison said: "At the moment passengers in Castleton and across Greater Manchester are being forced to board trains like sardines. This has left employers faced with dozens of tired, stressed and uncomfortable when they arrive at their workplace. The cuts that the Government will be implementing across Greater Manchester are basically a two-fingered salute to all rail passengers in our area and this is simply unacceptable."

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen said: "The Calder Valley line between Manchester and Leeds which meets the Rochdale loop are among the most overcrowded in the area, yet nothing has been done to ease congestion and make life easier for Northern Rail passengers. I will be seeking an urgent meeting with Transport bosses to see if we resolve these issues."

Below is the Full Notice of Motion that was put forward by the Liberal Democrats:

RAIL CUTS

That this Council:

deplores the Government's £8 million a year cut in support to rail services in Greater Manchester from October 2009

deplores the 40% cut from 182 to just 106 new railway carriages in the Government's order for the Northern Rail franchise

calls on the Government to retain the five Rochdale Loop Line trains in Greater Manchester after the line closes for conversion to Metrolink in order to relieve overcrowding on trains on the routes in Rochdale Borough through Castleton and outside the Borough through Bolton and Atherton

calls on the Government to withdraw its demand for GMPTE to pay leasing charges to retain the five Rochdale Loop Line trains in Greater Manchester

calls on Rochdale's MPs, Paul Rowen and Jim Dobbin to seek an urgent meeting with Transport Ministers to resolve these issues

Proposed by Councillor Peter Evans

Seconded by Councillor Peter Davison