Anger as Northern announces train service cuts across Sheffield and South Yorkshire
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The changes will include the removal of the 08.16 Leeds – Sheffield service, and the Sheffield – Gainsborough central service being scrapped entirely.
South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis said the decision risked ‘locking in the damage’ to public transport brought about by the pandemic and said he would be writing to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps.
Northern said the change would start in May 2022 and be fully completed by the end of August.
Mayor Jarvis said: “It is deeply disappointing to see yet more cuts to our rail services in South Yorkshire which will have a huge impact on the commuter corridor between Sheffield and Leeds, and the towns and villages in between which rely on those services to stay connected.
“We are emerging from the pandemic – people have returned to work and are able to move freely, so efforts should be focused on recovering services, not cutting them back.
“Cuts of this nature run the risk of locking in the damage to public transport caused by the pandemic. They affect people’s job prospects, the ability to grow our economy, encourage more cars to be on the roads increasing congestion and pollution and in some cases completely cut off whole communities.
“I will be writing to the Secretary of State about this issue and seeking urgent talks with Northern Rail to discuss this.”
A spokesman for Northern said: “We fully understand the concerns of those using our trains in South Yorkshire and we are doing all we can to provide the best possible service for our customers who are very much at the heart of everything we do.”
“We’re seeing fewer commuters travelling each day, and people travelling at different times of the week and for different reasons.
“We’ve made decisions about our timetables based on the levels of resource we have available and prioritising the routes with the highest customer demand, and which support the region’s economic growth.
“The timetables currently in place will broadly continue with some amendments from May 2022 and into the summer.”