On Trains & Buses

Travel news, views & information from Europe & North America by an independent public transport user

Improvements, what improvements?

Posted on December 14, 2008

Reading time: 2 minutes.

The massive reorganisation that is the new train timetable changeover hasn’t been too kind to Macclesfield. It might not sound so bad to hear that we have been left with three an hour in each direction but it’s the timings that disappoint me, even if the frequency is a cut from that which we have been enjoying for a while now. What is the matter is that Virgin and CrossCountry don’t seem to have worked together to get their times in the hour better separated.

The main pattern for weekday service from Manchester is 27, 35 and 48 minutes past the hour. The CrossCountry in the 27 departure and the 35 is the Virgin one while the 48 is Northern Rail’s local stopping service that now goes all the way to Stoke-on-Trent, not necessarily a bad thing since it opens some new destinations for Macclesfield folk.

Sundays see the same sort of thinking about which I have already complained on my hillwalking blog, especially with the timings of the local stopping service; the TSO timetable had more services listed but these have since turned out to be a work of fiction. Until March 29th, Virgin and CrossCountry do well when keeping their Sunday services to different parts of the hour but this is forgotten on the date in question and both services end up so close together as make it laughable to suggest that Macclesfield is getting any more than an hourly service

This is the sort of thing that makes you want to go to a central timetabling authority to complain but there appears to be none so it’s a case of contacting each operator. Maybe, Passenger Focus might be able to provide some help if no satisfactory response is forthcoming from either of the companies in question. Our local MP is said to have “intervened” but, like a lot of places where he has stuck in his oar, it doesn’t seem to have the desired effect and we have been left with the less than ideal situation that we now face. It probably needs someone else to make an effort…