I blogged about a trip that Sheila and I had on this long neglected line recently and a link to that posting is available via the link below:-
Here is the OPSTA** update:-
It was a pleasant surprise to read that Arriva Rail North (Northern) intends to run 17 services daily on Ormskirk – Preston from December 2017. This is more than the 14 services specified in the Invitation to Tender. It is quite clear they acted on the evidence based case we presented but as yet there is no detail expected before the end of June. It has been indicated, however, the service will be achieved through sharing train unit allocations with other services thus enabling 2 trains to be running on the line simultaneously in order to achieve a regular, hourly timetable.
That would be progress but our surveys clearly show the importance of getting the times aligned to traveller need and in the peak this means a more frequent service. Following a constructive meeting with Richard Watts* at Lancashire County Council (LCC) OPSTA will put forward our research based view of optimal arrival times at Preston and Ormskirk through the day for consideration by the Northern timetablers.
This may not achieve anything but the aim is to try and influence in advance rather than react to the fait accompli.
* Richards Watts used to be involved in campaigning with OPSTA
** OPSTA is the Ormskirk, Preston & Southport Travellers Association a rail travel campaigning group which fights for the Ormskirk – Preston and Southport – Manchester railway lines to be improved/upgraded.