New train services planned for Pontefract

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New train services linking the Five Towns to cities including Wakefield and Leeds could be introduced by the end of the year.

Members of Pontefract Civic Society and its Rail Sub Group have been campaigning for improvements to train routes in and out of the town, since a public meeting around 12 months ago.

And they say some new services could be introduced in December, with more to follow next May.

One change will see the Knottingley to Wakefield Kirkgate route extended to go on to Westgate and Leeds. It means there will be two trains an hour from Pontefract to Leeds, passing alternatively through Castleford and Wakefield. The routes will also run on a Sunday.

Other plans could see the Huddersfield to Wakefield service extended to Castleford. But the group are campaigning for the route to be expanded even further to reach Pontefract.

Peter Cookson, chairman of the Rail Sub Group, said: "Without the need for extra resources, it could go on to serve Glasshoughton and Pontefract, for only marginal extra cost.

"It is crazy to terminate a service just three miles short of another principal town and Xscape, a major national visitor destination."

The society is also fighting for Pontefract to become better connected to York and Sheffield and has managed to secure an extra train running to York on a morning, and back on an evening.