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Planned improvements to rail services were discussed by councillors this week after complaints of an inadequate service in the south and east of the district.

The Express has been looking into the quality of transport links as part of the Our Fair Share Campaign, which is asking whether places like Hemsworth, South Elmsall, Pontefract and Castleford get a raw deal.

At Wakefield Council’s meeting on Wednesday, upgrades to Pontefract Monkhill and Castleford railway stations were discussed as part of planned improvements to district transport links.

Also on the agenda was the need for more trains linking Pontefract, Knottingley, Streethouse and Featherstone to Leeds.

But South Elmsall town councillor Jon Treacy said better services were also needed on the line which connects Moorthorpe to Meadowhall and Sheffield.

He said: “Services to Leeds are generally not too bad, but the line from Moorthorpe to Sheffield is a joke.

“There are not enough carriages and the fares are extortionate, even to get to Meadowhall.”

Councillors discussed the possible upgrades after transport campaigners in Pontefract handed a petition to West Yorkshire transport bosses calling for more regular services to Leeds.

A report to Wednesday’s meeting said research showed that a minimum half-hourly service from all West Yorkshire towns to Leeds would boost the economy.

It said Wakefield Council was working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority on a string of improvements to transport links.

At Castleford railway station, improvements could be made to the underpass, waiting areas, signage and car park could be made.

Pontefract Monkhill could get an expanded car park, improvements to signage and CCTV.

The report said: “The redevelopment project will extend the car park onto the area land previously used as a local dairy in addition to improving the existing parking area and walking route to Mill Dam Lane.

“A total of 58 parking spaces, including three for blue badge holders, a dedicated drop-off/pick-up point and a marked pedestrian route will be created.”

Neil Rodgers, Wakefield Council’s service director for planning, transportation and highways, said: “We are working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in regards to the train services between Moorthorpe to Sheffield and are currently looking into this with Northern Rail.”

 

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