Invest in the Penistone Line for a Half Hourly Service

Invest in the Penistone Line for a Half Hourly Service

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Will Simpson started this petition to The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (Secretary of State for Transport) and

We are fighting for investment in the Penistone Line to double the frequency of our services to half hourly.

We have successfully campaigned to see investment on Denby Dale station's platform which will bring newer, faster and greater capacity trains into service and end the use of Pacers (converted 1960s diesel buses) on the Line.

But the potential of our local rail network is being held back by inadequate infrastructure, which has restricted the service to one train per hour.

This reduces the utility of the service to commuters, provides a poor service to residents and suppresses demand - hereby increasing congestion on our roads and leading to less sustainable travel.

A modest investment in additional passing places on the track could double the frequency of the service to half hourly and unleash the potential of the our rail network - linking it better with services to Manchester and Leeds - and reducing the reliance of local residents on private cars for commuting.

We are calling upon the Government to use the upcoming Budget to keep their promise to northern communities like ours by making this small investment, which could have a transformational impact on our local public transport network.

We have written the below letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid MP; the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP; and our local MP Mark Eastwood.

We are asking residents to support this campaign by signing the petition and we will be contacting local partners as well.

We have appended the letter below. We hope you can support us.

'Dear Grant, Sajid and Mark

Investing in the Penistone Line

We are writing to follow up on our previous letter to the Secretary of State for Transport (ref: 267441).

As we outlined in our previous correspondence, the Penistone Line is a vital link
between Huddersfield and Sheffield, linking to services to Manchester and Leeds, which has suffered from a clear lack of investment for many years.

We are pleased that Network Rail are now undertaking platform extensions which will allow the final Pacers to be retired and for newer, greater capacity trains to
operate on the Line.

However, the lack of investment in the infrastructure of the Line itself, and appalling
service delivered by Northern, leaves our residents and commuters poorly served by a service which runs only hourly.

We are today writing to raise this issue with yourselves, in the lead up to the
Government budget in March, to ask that you ensure adequate funding is provided for communities like ours, so that, in the least, a line upgrade may take place
to double the frequency of trains on the line to half-hourly.

A 2017 study, commissioned by West Yorkshire Combined Authority, found that
demand on the service is increasing due to a number of factors and will no doubt
increase further due to new rolling stock, but:

The potential for transformative change to render the Penistone Line more attractive to commuters by improving journey times and service levels is severely constrained by infrastructural and operational barriers.

A relatively small investment to increase the number of passing places in the Line could double the frequency of its services. This would increase the use of the service significantly for commuters and better link the Line with other operations, such as those travelling to Manchester and Leeds.

This would truly unleash the potential of the rail network in our area.

As commuter villages, this modest investment could have a transformational impact on public transport in our area, and would be an important part of the solution to tackling both congestion and the climate emergency - as well as providing a significant service improvement for commuters and our residents.

We will be making this letter public and seeking the support of our residents and
partners, including the Combined Authorities and Transport for the North, on this
important issue.

We look forward to receiving your response and hope you will commit to making the investments we need - and that the North has been promised.

Kind regards

Cllr Graham Turner & Cllr Will Simpson'


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