More carriages to ease overcrowding

Date published: 14 October 2009

Transport bosses are taking action to tackle overcrowding on trains through Mills Hill by buying back carriages from the Oldham loop line.

The news comes after the Chronicle revealed yesterday how rush-hour trains had become a “sardine service”, with passengers left behind in Chadderton because carriages were packed to the rafters.

One Chadderton commuter said: “I spent the entire journey to Manchester with my face pressed against the carriage window.”

Now the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority’s chairman, Councillor Keith Whitmore, is preparing to pay for some of the five train units freed-up by the closure of the Oldham loop line to increase peak capacity on the line as soon as possible.

He said: “I am not prepared to stand aside and watch this daily misery continue. This is why I am instructing our officers to prepare a financial contribution that will get some of these carriages back into operation urgently to relieve the overcrowding.

“I completely share the frustrations of passengers who have been left out in the cold on platforms along the Rochdale lines over the past week because of the unwillingness of others to take action.”

He said the line was overcrowded at times before the Oldham loop line closed and many former loop line passengers have been trying to squeeze on to these trains, especially at Rochdale, Castleton and Mills Hill.

He added: “We have repeatedly called on the Department for Transport and Northern Rail to take action to accommodate this extra demand — but to no avail.

“I am bitterly disappointed that we haven’t had funding from other sources to do this, but we will continue to discuss the matter with all parties in order to secure a long-term solution.”