“Today,” writes one of our commuters, “The 0807 was late, and therefore extra full. By Bradford it was heaving.” The 0749 Halifax-York should be 3-car but sometimes we get: “Only two carriages. Only just got on at Halifax. Several gave up trying. Delayed as last few tried to squeeze on. Will be standing all way to Leeds…” And more: “Only a handful could get on at New Pudsey – must have left more than 50 on the platform. A bit of swearing too.” No wonder people get angry. A phone picture conveys something of the nightmare. Arriva (Northern) promise 37% more peak capacity with new trains by 2020. But why is a train planned for three carriages at present so often only two? We fear worse before it gets better. Halifax-Leeds passengers at present have the 5-car 0728 using an intercity train hired from Grand Central. This highly successful service was not shown in the draft timetable circulated earlier this year for May 2018, leaving a peak-hour 23 minute gap in Halifax-Leeds departures from 0718 to 0741. In other words a reduction in service.
We made our views known in HADRAG’s response to the draft timetable and specifically asked for the GC train to be kept until all the new stock arrives.