‘Let down’ by lack of new rail services

A campaign to get better rail services from Monkhill Rail Station to Leeds is gathering speedwith the backing of local councillors and rail users.'Cllr Celia Loughran (front) is pictured with local councillors, civic society members and rail users from the Pontefract, Knottingley and Featherstone areas, all of which are on the line.'p314b342

A campaign to get better rail services from Monkhill Rail Station to Leeds is gathering speedwith the backing of local councillors and rail users.'Cllr Celia Loughran (front) is pictured with local councillors, civic society members and rail users from the Pontefract, Knottingley and Featherstone areas, all of which are on the line.'p314b342

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Campaigners for improved rail services in Pontefract say they have been “let down” by the government, after it emerged there would be no new routes to and from the town.

Members of the Campaign for Improved Rail Services Pontefract, Knottingley and Featherstone wrote to the Department for Transport earlier this year.

They called for more services from Pontefract to cities and towns such as York, Sheffield, Huddersfield and Doncaster.

But the group say they are “disappointed” as the latest government rail announcements do not include any new routes in and out of the town.

Pontefract councillor Celia Loughran said: “We are incredibly disappointed that it looks like central government will not be funding any additional services to and from our stations.

“Pontefract is a growing town with ongoing development in the area but the government does not seem to have heard our plea for improved services.

“We feel our case has been ignored and we have been let down.

“Our town is becoming an increasingly bigger town and after all the hard work that goes in to the area, and all the hard work of our campaign, we are fed up to have been knocked back again”

But Coun Loughran said that despite the setback, the group would keep up their fight.

She said: “As our town grows it is really important that we have proper connectivity to enable it to thrive.

“We will continue to work with groups in the area and will not give up our campaign for better services for the people of Pontefract.”

The group is also campaigning for better disabled access at the town’s stations.

Despite the latest setback, the campaign group have already helped to secure improvements to Pontefract’s railway stations and train services.

A £400,000 scheme to improve safety and passenger facilities at Monkhill railway station was completed in May.

The work - paid for by Metro and Wakefield Council - includes CCTV cameras, improved lighting, extra car parking spaces and improved access at the Monkhill Lane station.

The group also welcomed news last month that services between Monkhill and Leeds will increase to two per hour.

Coun Loughran said: “The improvements were long overdue and after campaigning for them for years.

“We are extremely grateful that we have made steps in the right direction”