TRAIN companies were blasted today over timetable changes coming in this weekend.
Alterations were being made with scant regard to the requirements of the travelling public, it was claimed.
Operators including TransPennine Express and Arriva Trains Northern start new timetables this Sunday.
Companies say the vast majority of changes will be minor.
But passengers are already complaining.
Some commuters face problems because their morning train from Slaithwaite and Marsden will arrive in Huddersfield four minutes after the connection to Wakefield leaves.
Kirklees Liberal Democrat councillor David Ridgway said: "The whole system is a mess, a sham and appallingly bad practice.
"It really is time for these appalling arrangements to be brought into the open so that all agencies, as well as the travelling public, can start to work together to build a public transport system that actually works for the benefit of all."
Clr Ridgway, who is a member of West Yorkshire Passenger Authority, added: "All the public can do is either cope or abandon public transport."
Train companies are urging passengers to pick up new timetables in advance.
Heidi Mottram, Arriva Trains Northern's commercial director, said: "We operate around 1,200 services a day and the vast majority will operate the same as last year's summer timetable.
"But there will be changes to the departure and arrival times of some of our services so it is advisable that people double check their travel arrangements."
Timetables for all train operators are available from National Rail Inquiries on 0845 748 49 50.
* The public is overwhelmingly opposed to strikes being threatened by rail workers in a row over pay and pensions, says a poll for Network Rail.
The company, which could be hit by a walkout of thousands of workers by the end of the month, said research among 2,000 people showed that four out of five believed a national railway strike would damage jobs and businesses.
The Rail Maritime and Transport union will declare the result of a strike ballot tomorrow.