Campaigners fight for more train services

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Campaigners are calling for Wakefield Council to back their proposals for improved rail services in the region.

Pontefract South councillor Celia Loughran said they were “let down” by the Department for Transport after it emerged no new routes would run to and from the town last year.

Coun Loughran and Pontefract North councillor Lorna Malkin now plan to present a resolution to the authority next month asking for councillors to back their proposals for improved links from Pontefract to Yorkshire towns, including Doncaster and York.

If successful, the matter will then be taken to the Leeds City Region, where the campaigners will put forward their case for more services.

Coun Loughran said: “We have to put the pressure on as the town needs more routes. We can’t wait another 10 years and it needs to happen now.

“With the support of the council leader, chief executive and elected members, it will give us a more steely approach. Our case can be put forward again and hopefully we will get a better result.”

The DfT announced rail services run across the north of England would receive a £1.2 billion boost, including new trains and more routes.

But campaigners in Pontefract were left disappointed after the government said it would only double the number of services that runs to Leeds from the town.

Coun Loughran said: “It shows a serious lack of vision from the DfT who have failed to take on board the significant levels of development including house building that is taking place all around us.

“There is also the seven million visitors that go to Xscape each year and the events held at the race course. There is so much going on.

“We want better links for people living in the area but also to help bring more people to the town.”

Coun Loughran added: “We also want to see improved services to London, particularly a return trip in the evening. It is our intention to continue to lobby for what we believe are reasonable requests for a contemporary rail service that many parts of the south of England enjoy.”