COMMUTERS have been told decisions to cancel some stops at the new Warrington West railway station in Chapelford have not been taken lightly.

Chapelford and Old Hall borough councillors have pressed Northern to change its policy over late-running trains, which has resulted in some trains missing out the stop at the £20.5 million site.

If the stopping service from Manchester runs very late, it can be overtaken at Glazebury by the express from Manchester Airport.

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On some occasions, Northern has then told passengers for Warrington West to get off at Warrington Central as the train will not be calling at the new station.

Cllr Steve Parish, who was a timetable clerk for British Rail in the 1970s, says it is now common practice to ‘miss stops’ to get trains ‘back on time’ for their return journey.

He said: “Under the privatised system, operating companies are fined for late departures, but passengers on late-running trains can be further delayed by being made to change trains and wait for the next train, which may also be late.”

Warrington Guardian:

Cllr Steve Parish

Cllr Parish and his colleagues Cllr Rebecca Knowles and Cllr Paul Warburton have already taken Northern and Network Rail to task for only stopping two trains an hour at the station, instead of the three that had been promised.

Northern could lose its franchise as early as March.

Cllr Parish added: “If we had the three trains an hour this would be less of a problem and we hope that whoever operates the trains will give us what was promised.”

Northern has been pressed over the issue of late-running trains missing their stop at Warrington West.

Regional director Chris Jackson said: “Our services continue to be affected by the well-documented and ongoing capacity issues in central Manchester.

“As a result, it has been necessary, on a handful of occasions to cancel some stops on the route between Manchester Oxford Road and Liverpool Lime Street.

“These decisions are not taken lightly but allow us to reduce the impact of delays on subsequent services.”

“We are absolutely committed to providing the best possible service for our customers are Warrington West and will continue to work with colleagues across the rail industry to develop solutions that may allow for the introduction of more services.”