Major changes to UK rail timetables come into effect on Sunday

“This Sunday, huge cuts to rail services will hit northern communities,” said Labor Party transport spokeswoman Louise Haigh.

A wide range of changes take effect across the country on Sunday, May 15, with the restoration of some services that were withdrawn during the coronavirus pandemic.

There is also a new station in the Scottish Borders.

But Haigh said in a social media video.: “This weekend we are going to lose vital rail routes for North Yorkshire and North Yorkshire towns, cities and communities because Northern Rail is introducing cut-offs without consulting the services people depend on.

“Places like Sheffield are losing our services to places like Wakefield, Pontefract, Leeds and York and the government is completely missing in action.

“Secretary of Transportation [Grant Shapps] hasn’t said a word about those cuts to Northern Rail services.

“This is a blatant violation of promises the Conservatives made. Grant Shapps should show some responsibility, step in and stand up for the passengers.”

Northern, which is run by the government, says “a small number of services” will be removed from the Leeds-Sheffield-Nottingham and Leeds-Sheffield lines via Dearne.

There will also be cuts to services from Leeds and Bradford to Ilkley and Skipton; on the York-Harrogate-Leeds line; and on the Hull-Leeds-Halifax route.

Tricia Williams, Northern’s chief operating officer, said: “Customers are at the heart of everything we do, and the new schedules are designed to deliver high levels of reliability.

“We have made decisions about our schedules based on the levels of resources we have available and prioritizing the routes with the highest customer demand and that support economic growth in the region.”

Elsewhere, Northern is removing “a small number of services” in Manchester-New Mills and between Whitby and Middlesbrough.

More trains will run between Hull and Bridlington, on the Hope Valley line in Derbyshire and between Darlington and Saltburn. There will be increased seating capacity on the Settle and Carlisle line.

In the Scottish Borders, a new station will open on the East Coast Main Line in the town of Reston, north of Berwick-upon-Tweed. It will be linked to Edinburgh and Newcastle five times a day by TransPennine Express. In addition, an early northbound LNER service and a southbound evening train will stop there, but neither serve London.

On the West Coast Main Line, some Covid outages will be restored. Avanti West Coast will operate a third train every hour for most of the day between London Euston and Manchester and additional direct services from the capital to North Wales.

London-Birmingham links remain at two per hour, one less than the pre-pandemic frequency.

On the Great Western network, a summer seaside special will be reintroduced from London Paddington to Newquay in North Cornwall until September.

GWR is cutting its Portsmouth-Brighton service, saying the rolling stock will be used to “strengthen the busy Cardiff to Portsmouth hourly service to five carriages”.

On the newly restored Exeter-Okehampton line to Dartmoor services will be doubled.

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