I work in the valley and have just found out about the proposed December 2008 timetable that could have significant changes for Mytholmroyd station, especially affecting Halifax and Bradford journeys.
Basically, there will be two trains an hour during the day to Manchester, and two trains an hour to Leeds - but, one train will go Brighouse and Dewsbury and the other one via Halifax and Bradford. That means from Mytholmroyd, it might be an hourly service to Halifax and Bradford.
I'm still not sure whether this changes are definite. Does anyone else know about this? What's being done to save our service?
From Andrew Hall
The plans are outlined on the WYPTA website. Metro's view, considering the advantages and disadvantages, seems to be "On balance the proposal represents a significant enhancement to the service pattern which will benefit the majority of passengers."
From Nina Smith
As for as I know, these are still proposals, but ones which are detrimental to anyone travelling to and from Mytholmroyd and Sowerby Bridge, and Bradford and Halifax.
Everone concerned about this should let their views be known to the MD of Northern Rail email@example.com and the Director general of Metro/WYPTE and also Clerk to the WY PTA, firstname.lastname@example.org
From Jo Nolan
Its not good for Mytholmroyd. This seems we have lost out to the bigger stations which get a better service at our expense
From Andrew Hall
As with any proposal, there are always winners and losers.
From Nicola M
Great for the commuters but when will metro ever consider that some of us would actually like to attend a concert in Manchester or actually enjoy a Saturday night out in Manchester without feeling like we're on a 16year old's curfew. The last trains to leave Manchester Monday to Friday is 23.19 and Saturdays a ridiculous 22.49. The last time I attended a concert at MEN - I missed the end of the show having to dash for the train - which then sat in for 15 minutes due to signal failure which was even more annoying!
Leeds isn't any better @ 22.37 for both weekedays and Saturdays.
So much for 24 hour party people.
From Helen T
As a commuter I'm pleased about the improved services in the morning, but I'm also with Nicola on this, as someone who also likes to go out and have a life in the evening.
Given the rising costs of petrol, going to gigs in Leeds and Manchester is getting expensive. Later trains would be fantastic for a lot of people in Hebden who want a night out. We went to a gig in Halifax last night and had to dash at the end to get the last train back.
There is also the issue of the buses that meet with the trains at Hebden. We went to Halifax Beer Festival and the train back was late. As a consequence our friend had to walk up to Slack as the bus hadn't waited for the train. The train/bus service needs to be integrated, this doesn't only happen later on, I've seen it happen to commuters earlier in the evening as well.
From Emma Crute
I have always agreed that the last train from Leeds is way too early - having to leave wherever you are at about 10pm to get the lat train back to Hebden / Mytholmroyd has always annoyed me.
From Myra Lesley
Helen and Nicola - late night trains an issue close to my heart. Last night I went to see Bruce Springsteen at Old Trafford. I had a lift in a car - little hope of making it to Victoria Station in time for the last train. Traffic congestion following the event was so bad it took us two hours to edge our way to the motorway. Very bad news for people trying to go about their normal business, lacking the benefit of a great night out to compensate! It really is about time train companies made provision for people daring to stay out after 10.30pm. There should also be some requirement placed on event organisers to work with public transport providers to ensure a city doesn't have to grind to a halt in this way. Trains from London into surrounding counties run much later. Leeds and Manchester aren't backwaters and should be able to do likewise.
From Jo Beacroft-Mitchell
I think a few people are missing the point with regards to Mytholmroyd - the problem is not only people getting out of the area for work - yes people working in Halifax and Bradford can get the bus to work from Mytholmroyd (though it is more expensive and a lot less reliable).
The point is that Mytholmroyd is home to the largest employer in the upper valley (Sweet and Maxwell)as well as a number of other major employers who need a skilled (and not necessarily local) workforce. The current proposals cut the service into the village - which does a lot of potential damage to our local economy if our biggest employers can no longer recruit adequate staff to come in when they need them - Hebden may have more people needing to get out of town on a morning but Mytholmroyd is not a commuter/dormer town in the same way - some people actually commute here for work from Leeds/Manchester/Bradford etc and need a reliable service.
From Helen T
It's not just late night events either. I took part in the Manchester 10K and decided to travel in by train. The first train on a Sunday morning gets you to Manchester at 1001 which I thought was pushing it a bit. So I emailed Northern Trains to ask if they were considering putting on any extra trains. I got a standard reply saying they would get back to me in 20 days. That was back in March, I never got a reply and to make things worse the first train from Hebden to Manchester got in 25 minutes late. Lots of people got on in their running kit, and all of them arrived rather flustered instead of relaxed as they should have been.
As for anyone wanting to watch the elite runners, forget it. They would have finished by the time the train was due to get in.
I think it's good that there are improvements being made to the existing trains, but we need better early and late services as well.
From Janet Balmforth
One train an hour from Mytholmroyd to Bradford is just not enough - it should take approx 30 mins to do this journey by train and it takes about 1 hr 30 mins by bus. Perhaps one an hour is okay for weekends but not during the working week. Everything seems to be for the benefit of Hebden Bridge and Leeds - what comes next for Mytholmroyd? Losing the station altogether? All this change will do is put more people back on the roads which will create more traffic problems. Incidentally, there is a meeting at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 3rd June at the White Lion Pub in Hebden Bridge to discuss the changes.
Regarding previous messages about trains running later in the night etc. - they wouldn't be so keen if the trains passed the bottom of their garden as they do mine. That's another thing - more trains per day passing my house but less for me to actually use - that's adding insult to injury!
From Nicola M
Actually Janet - I also live with the trains passing the end of where I live - it was one of the reasons I bought it - therefore it would be churlish of me to then complain about the convenience of location to it but expect it to only run at the times when I was awake. It's only the hideous freight trains that actually wake me these days.
From Andrew Hall
Janet says "What comes next for Mytholmroyd? Losing the station altogether?"
Perhaps that is not as outrageous as it may sound. Mytholmroyd station is a bit of a luxury. It's a mere 3 minutes away from Hebden Bridge. There aren't many stations in West Yorkshire with a 3 minute stop between them - Walsden to Mytholmroyd, and Garforth to East Garforth spring to mind. Compare this to the 14 minutes between Halifax and Bradford with communities bigger than Mytholmroyd in between. That's one of the reasons why Metro want to open a station at Low Moor on the outskirts of Bradford. The problem is that, given existing signalling, the timetable will simply not allow more stopping trains. Mytholmroyd, being on the main Lancashire and Yorkshire main line towards Normanton, has to contend with not only the Halifax/Bradford traffic, but also traffic using this main line, including an increasing amount of freight. Good news for the rail system as a whole, but bad news for Mytholmroyd.
A good friend of mine, who has extensive knowledge of the railway system in the West Riding and beyond, tells me that Mytholmroyd station would almost certainly have closed in the 1960's and was only reprieved because of the large scale battery chicken operations in Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale which needed the freight facility that Mytholmroyd station offered. That business now no longer exists. The question is, in the absence of chickens, are there enought members of the travelling public to justify the station?
And before anyone accuses me of not wanting Mytholmroyd station to survive, can I say that I would love it to stay. Many people from Hebden Bridge wanting to travel to Manchester, find it more convenient to drive to and park in Mytholmroyd. By doing this, they are almost guaranteed a seat and avoid the nightmare of parking in Hebden.
From Jo Beacroft-Mitchell
Andrew - the battery chickens may have gone but the biggest employers in the area are still in Mytholmroyd. If Hebden Royd wants to remain as a functioning economy rather than simply a dormer for Manchester and Leeds we must have a station at Mytholmroyd to bring our workforce in.
From Emma Crute
I understand the issues raised here in relation to the closeness of Mytholmroyd to Hebden. However living in Mytholmroyd myself as not being able to afford the rents in Hebden I get the train to work in Leeds each day. Mytholmroyd will really be affected if less trains stop there, and myself and my partner will def be giving much more thought of moving back to Leeds if the trains reduce and this affects our ease of getting to Leeds. The move to Mytholmroyd for ourselves was totally linked to it being on the train line. I wouldnt think that I am the only person who thinks this either.
Emma - as I understand it there will an overall reduction of 1 train from Mytholmroyd to Leeds before 9.30 am. So it's not looking as bad as is suggested, this is because the Leeds via Dewsbury service is being extended to run before 9.30 and will stop at Mytholmroyd. This is a faster service than the ones you currently get, and may be an improvement for you. Dependent on what time they timetable the trains for of course.
It looks worse in the evening, when there is a reduction of 3 trains between 1600 and 1900 - the trains at that time get very crowded out of Leeds and I think that is going to be more of an issue for you. However, you may find that the via Dewsbury ones are still convenient.
From Nicola M
A public meeting will be held on Monday 30th June 2008 at 7.30pm to discuss the proposed changes in rail services. The meeting is to be held in the Church of the Good Shepherd in Mytholmroyd.
Steve Butcher, Area Director of Northern Rail, with a number of his colleagues in attendance, will give a presentation and members of the public will then be able to ask questions and make comments about the proposals.
Do please tell anyone you know who you think might be interested in attending this meeting!
From Rachel W
Unable to attend this meeting unfortunately. I travel to Leeds and back Monday to Friday.
Only affect I can see is that I'm going to have to get up a wee bit earlier. I won't be travelling to Hebden because parking is limited and I certainly won't be travelling to Sowerby Bridge because you now have to pay for parking there after years of free parking.
This morning some women were handing out surveys for completion at the Mytholmroyd. It would be interesting to see if anyone has anything positive to say about these changes in Mytholmroyd.
I did count that there were about 20 odd people that got on the 7.36 train this morning. Are people trying to say that 20 odd is an insignificant number of people? I dont think so!
From Lisa Cumming
Where is the evidence about who will gain and who will lose? Do people really want faster trains?
As a daily user I just want trains that turn up on time. The regularity with which trains are cancelled means a once an hour service would be impossible to rely on.
Mytholmroyd is a busy and well used station. Like others, a regular train service was a key reason we moved to Mytholmroyd and were able to give up our car. I need a regular train service that meets the demands of working flexible hours.
The proposed changes would make it incredibly hard to rely on using the train to get to Bradford and push many to jump back in their cars (likely to impact on Hebden Bridge) at the very time when building a sustainable present is our only hope of a decent future.
From Helen T
I think the people who would like faster trains are those who work in Leeds or Manchester. I know that when travelling to Manchester some stations are served by 4 trains an hour once you get past Rochdale. The through train is usually so full people on those stations can't even get on.
I wouldn't like to see people stuck at Mytholmroyd for an hour though if a train was cancelled. I hope that they listen to people's views at the meeting. Even if it meant flexible train planning, so that if a stopping train was cancelled the through train was allowed to stop it would show they were interested in customer service and not the automatons they appear to be.