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High Peak MP in train station tour
Friday 9th September 2016 @ 15:35 by Adam Higgins

Andrew Bingham is taking a whistle-stop tour of High Peak train stations following concerns from commuters.

But the constituency MP won’t be travelling alone.

Northern have agreed to spend a day with Mr Bingham, visiting stations across the borough to discuss various issues in further detail.

The new rail franchisees made the offer after Mr Bingham met with company officials to discuss a number of points.

The MP raised complaints of a lack of access and parking at Chinley station, and the frequency of weekday services to stations in Hope Valley.

Other concerns included the rebuilding on the ticket office at New Mills Newtown station and overcrowding across the network, particularly at New Mills Central.

Mr Bingham said: “I was very glad to finally meet with Northern following the new franchise arrangements.

“They brought me up to date with the reorganisation they’ve been going through, and what their plans are for the next few years of the franchise.”

Northern will operate the franchise until March 2025 and have committed to remove all ‘Pacer’ trains within three years.

They also promise 281 brand new carriages across the network by 2020, with all remaining trains fully refurbished, more seats and longer trains at peak times.

The MP was assured that older trains used to replace the current rolling stock for two years before the new carriages came in would be entirely fit for purpose.

There will be more than 2,000 additional services across the network each week by 2019 and free wi-fi for all passengers by the same time.

Mr Bingham added: “Their plans sound great, but I’ll wait to see them actually happen before I praise them too much.

“Having said that, they’ve already placed the order for the new trains, so they’re currently on track to deliver that promise.”

Mr Bingham said he was looking forward to going around the High Peak with Northern Rail to discuss the issues he raised in more detail.