Worsley MP Barbara Keeley and local community group, Friends of Walkden Station, are celebrating the success of a community campaign to win the return of Sunday Rail Services through Walkden Station. Walkden is the only area of Greater Manchester to have no rail services on Sundays.
The Friends of Walkden Station have always made the return of Sunday Services one of their key priorities and Barbara Keeley first took up the issue for them in 2007 with Northern Rail’s Managing Director, Heidi Mottram.
Recently, Barbara held a further meeting with Heidi Mottram and Rail Minister, Chris Mole, to discuss how to take forward the proposal for the new services.
“It was clear at our meeting to discuss Sunday Services that both Northern Rail and the Rail Minister were keen to see these new services get off the ground, so then it was down to a decision of the Transport Authority. The costs we looked at seem reasonable to get these much-needed Sunday services running from Walkden. In the summer, Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority had appeared keen to support this and even approved the proposals in principle at one of their meetings, but I was becoming concerned that time was running out to get services going in 2010.
“The Transport Authority have subsidised Sunday services in other parts of Greater Manchester and the people of Walkden and surrounding areas deserve this support to help them use public transport on Sundays. In summer, I urged the transport authority councillors to support the proposals and when they met MPs recently in Westminster I asked them to follow through and support these proposals at their meeting on 18th December.
“I want to pay tribute to the Friends of Walkden Station for their campaign on this issue. Walkden is the only area of Greater Manchester not to have a Sunday Rail Service and I am sure the new service will be a great success. This decision also goes to show the value of community groups, supported by their local MP, campaigning to improve services in their local area."