Hope Valley Climate Action is pleased that Northern, who operate the Hope Valley local services, have upgraded many of their trains. The uncomfortable 40-year-old Pacers have finally been replaced by modern, warm and quiet units.
HVCA has called for improvements to services on the line in its response to a Department for Transport consultation on rail services in the Manchester area. HVCA wants to see all the local trains stop at every station, with the same pattern every hour. At present some stations are ‘skipped’, leaving an unpredictable two-hour gap. We would also like to see the possibility of a service every half hour explored. HVCA has also called for one of the fast trains between Manchester and Sheffield, which currently run non-stop through the Valley, to call at Hope station every hour. The Government has just announced that the long-awaited upgrade to the line is to go ahead, which should make these improvements possible. Better services would mean that Hope could become a public transport hub for the western part of the Valley, benefiting people in Castleton, Bradwell, Hope and Bamford as well as visitors. HVCA has been working in partnership with Hope Valley Rail Users Group [HVRUG] to prepare its response. The DfT consultation follows widespread public concern about delays and cancellations 18 months ago.