Councillor Eric Firth, who serves as both a ward councillor for Dewsbury East and Kirklees Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, has helped reinstate two key rail services between Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
The two services, which ran at peak travel times on weekdays, were removed by Transpennine Express as part of updates to their timetable in December last year. Trains which previously called at Dewsbury Train Station at 4:09pm and 6:12pm were scheduled to skip the stop under the new timetable, affecting not only working commuters but also students travelling home at those times.
Councillor Firth immediately approached Transpennine Express on behalf of his constituency, and worked with Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, in campaigning to get the services reinstated.
Transpennine Express announced in March that the services would be running again from May, and both services are now back in place for Dewsbury commuters.
Councillor Firth, Cabinet Member for Transport and ward councillor for Dewsbury East, says:
“I’m thrilled to have those services back on track for Dewsbury commuters. Dropping two popular services at peak times would’ve had a big impact on local residents and workers, at a time when so much work is being done to improve rail connections for people in Kirklees.
“I know that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Mayor Tracy Brabin have also been working tirelessly to make sure these services are reinstated, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the result.
“While we’re pleased that Transpennine Express has worked with us to reinstate these much-needed services, neither Kirklees Council nor the West Yorkshire County Council had been consulted on the changes, and a simpler and more accountable rail system is needed to make sure issues like this don’t happen again.”
Cllr Manisha Kaushik, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, says:
“I’m glad that these services have rightly been reinstated, without which students and commuters would have been stuck with no trains to Dewsbury from Huddersfield for over an hour in the late afternoon peak.
“This is an important step forward for residents, students and commuters, and one that the Combined Authority, Mayor Tracy Brabin and Cllr Eric Firth have worked tirelessly to make happen.
“We will continue to use every opportunity to champion our region’s needs for better rail services and public transport.”