Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves is set to meet with the Secretary of State for Transport to discuss the frequency of train services from Kirkstall Forge Station.
Ms Reeves told Chris Grayling during the Rail Update to MPs this afternoon that there was no point opening new train stations if authorities cannot get trains to stop at them.
The Transport Secretary agreed to a meeting with Ms Reeves following on from her question in the House of Commons.
No point opening new train stations if we can’t get enough trains to stop at them – including Kirkstall Forge, where there’s only one train every hour. I won’t stop fighting for better public transport in West Leeds. pic.twitter.com/4AjNfNmbeu
— Rachel Reeves (@RachelReevesMP) 29 November 2017
As previously reported, the hourly services stopping at Kirkstall Forge station, which opened in June 2016, are failing to meet local demand for travel to Leeds city centre and out of Leeds.
Ms Reeves said:
“It is vital that more trains stop at Kirkstall Forge to unlock the new development’s full potential when it comes to jobs and growth. There is no point opening new train stations if we cannot get trains to stop at them.
“I’m glad the Transport Secretary has agreed to meet me as I have been pushing Arriva Rail North (Northern) to improve local services and get more trains stopping. Improving the services at Kirkstall Forge is crucial when it comes to securing better transport links to help both travellers and businesses.”
@northernassist 7.27 Bingley to Leeds. Busier by the day! Crammed so tight I’m pretty sure we’re all having to breathe in unison. Even before we get to the newly created station of Kirkstall Forge. Added it seems with little thought for capacity. 😔
— katie florence (@thisisKFlo) 29 November 2017
Kirkstall Forge Station is part of the multi-million pound Kirkstall Forge development. It opened last year and exceeded its projected annual passenger numbers in its first five months.
The £16 million station, which had seen its opening delayed due to over-running building work, was heralded as a new “transport hub” for West Leeds, part of a huge development at the former industrial site.
Sounds easy, but when the timetable is so tight finding an extra 2-3 minutes to enable more services to stop isn’t easy.