MP urges rail companies to fix landslip problem after Wakefield district town left without trains for more than a month

A landslip that resulted in Knottingley being cut off from rail links for weeks is proof the north of England has been let down, an MP has said.
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Train services between Leeds and Knottingley were cancelled after a landslip caused blocked lines on March 10.

Rail replacement bus services have been in place since the incident.

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Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper expressed concern at how look it has been taking to fix the problem.

Plans for a new railway station in Rochdale have moved a step closerPlans for a new railway station in Rochdale have moved a step closer
Plans for a new railway station in Rochdale have moved a step closer

She said: "We've had no trains through Knottingley for weeks as a result of the landslip and I’m really concerned about how long this is taking to put right and the impact it is having on commuters and on the town.

"I’ve been in contact with Network Rail and Northern Rail now and they tell me that work is underway, but I’m urging them to make this a top priority to get the line safely open again.

"Our towns need good local bus and train services and too often across the north of England we’ve been let down."

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Other stops on the route that have been affected by the cancellations include stations in Wakefield, Pontefract, Featherstone and Streethouse.

Following the landslip, a spokesperson for Northern said: “Due to a safety inspection of the track between Pontefract Monkhill and Knottingley all lines are currently blocked.

"Rail replacement transport has been organised but customers are advised to check before they travel.”

Journey times were expected to be extended by 45 minutes with bus replacement services.

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A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Work is progressing well at the landslip site between Pontefract and Knottingley.

"Our teams are continuing to work around the clock to allow train services through the area to resume.

“Embankment reinstatement work is in its final stages with more than 1,700 tonnes of stone added and a new retaining wall built; 60m of track has also been removed and replaced.

"We still have some work to do but we are confident that the line will be open by Monday, May 6.

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“Rail replacement services and diversions continue to operate, and we still encourage all passengers to check before travelling.

"We want to thank passengers and local residents for the continued patience and understanding while we carry out this vital work.”

The Express has approached Northern for comment.

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