HUDDERSFIELD passengers will benefit from a multi-billion pound upgrade of the rail network.
But people in the Colne Valley were last night warned that yesterday’s announcement could hit their services.
Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled £4.2bn of new investment in the rail network yesterday.
The package includes £322m for the so-called Northern Hub, an ambitious plan to electrify the line from Liverpool to the outskirts of York.
The investment will mean the number of hourly fast services between Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester will increase from four to six.
Journey times between Leeds and Manchester will be cut from 54 to 45 minutes.
Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney welcomed the new spending yesterday.
“I’m absolutely delighted. Having campaigned for more than a year for the Northern Hub, it’s great to know that the Government has agreed to fully fund the Northern Hub,” said the Conservative backbencher.
“This is great news for the North.”
But Mr McCartney added that the investment could hit the stopping service between Huddersfield and Manchester Victoria, which calls at Slaithwaite and Marsden.
“The rail operators will submit their new timetables in two years and the thinking is that we can keep all the stopping services,” he said.
“It’s top of my agenda. As one campaign ends another begins – to ensure these improved services have good connectivity.”
Golcar Labour man Clr Paul Salveson last night warned that train services in the Colne Valley could be disrupted by the Northern Hub changes.
The former Northern Rail senior manager said: “It can only be good news that this investment is finally going ahead but the devil’s in the detail about how local communities are affected.
“There have been worries about the stopping service between Huddersfield and Manchester and we will have to keep a careful eye on that.
“There are only so many services you can run between Leeds and Manchester every hour and if you run six fast services it has implications for the stopping train.”
The Northern Hub also includes:
Two extra fast trains an hour between Manchester and Liverpool.
Cutting the journey time between the two North-West cities from 50 to 35 minutes.
An extra platform at Manchester Airport station and two new platforms at Manchester Piccadilly.
Mr Cameron, along with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, announced the new spending at a press conference in Smethwick in the West Midlands yesterday.
“This investment will mean faster journeys, more seats, better access to stations, greater freight links and a truly world-class rail network,” said the Prime Minister.
Work will begin in 2014 and should be complete by 2019.
Other major projects announced yesterday included:
An £800m electrification and upgrade from Sheffield to Bedford, completing the full electrification of the Midland Main Line.
Some £600m to electrify the line between Cardiff and Swansea.
A £240m upgrade to the East Coast Main Line between Newcastle, Leeds and London which will lead to greater capacity and faster journeys.
Investing £350m to lengthen platforms at London Waterloo.
Building a £500m link between the Great Western Main Line and Heathrow.