THERE’S no getting away from it. I was excited and now I am properly disappointed.

It’s that feeling you get when your team is leading 1-0 only for the opposition to score in the last minute. You’ve come away with something but somehow it feels like a defeat.

And that’s how I’m viewing the new Warrington West railway station at Chapelford which is due to open later this month.

Yes, I had high hopes for it. I live on that side of town and have to do the whole rush hour commute into Manchester several times a week, so the prospect of us having our own station with a service something like the one Birchwood has was something to look forward to.

At that point I was 1-0 up and the end of the game was in sight.

But of course, this is the north and our main train operator is the truly awful Northern so, in retrospect, I was being just a little naive to expect we would get a good service.

From what I understand, Warrington Borough Council has put in most of the £20 million and had pushed for three trains an hour to stop at Warrington West in each direction and you can almost hear the desperation in the statement from a council spokesman who said: “Despite extensive efforts over the past 12 to 18 months, we have not been able to secure approval from the rail industry to operate three trains per hour in each direction at Warrington West Station.”

Why am I not surprised?

We’re getting two trains an hour because of objections to having three trains an hour lodged by – you guessed it – both train companies who operate services on the line. Let’s name the guilty, shall we – Northern and East Midlands Trains.

To add insult to injury, the two trains we are actually getting will leave about 10 minutes apart. Any regular morning commuters from Warrington Central to Manchester will know exactly what trains they are. My guess is the first one will be the ‘express’ that leaves Warrington at 7.39am and the second one will be the ‘stopper’ that leaves Warrington at 7.53am.

Sadly, I can’t actually check this because despite Warrington West appearing on Northern’s website, it’s not possible to click through and actually see the train times or buy a ticket.

So well done Northern and East Midlands for doing the equivalent of scoring in the last minute, leaving me deflated and disappointed.

What did interest me, however, was the statement from a spokesman for Northern who is reported to have said: “We absolutely want – and aim – to deliver three services an hour. But can only do this when the current capacity issues in Manchester are resolved.”

That just doesn’t make any sense to me. I just don’t see what the capacity in Manchester has to do with it. No one is asking for any more trains on the line that would add to congestion, all we want is some of the existing trains to stop.

And don’t forget, when Warrington West opens, the number of trains that are going to stop at Sankey for Penketh reduces drastically.

Frankly, I think the poor train users of Warrington in particular and the north in general deserve better than Northern. The sooner it has its franchise removed, the sooner we can get on with putting in place a rail service fit for the 21st century.

  •  I had a walk around the new Time Square development on Sunday and I’ve got to say I am impressed. I think we won’t see it in all its glory until the hoardings finally come down but I really liked what I saw.

My initial fears were that the whole thing was on too large a scale for a town like Warrington but it’s not. Looks just about right to me.

And at this point, I have to finally admit that the Time Square car park isn’t the incongruous monstrosity I first thought it to be. In fact, the sight-line to the car park from the new public square makes it all look like a well thought out, coherent whole.