Cuts to local train services ‘completely unacceptable’

Cuts to train services in her constituency are “completely unacceptable”, MP Fiona Bruce has told Parliament.
As the Chronicle has reported, East Midlands Trains has almost entirely scrapped its hourly service through Alsager while CrossCountry does not intend to re-introduce its Congleton service in the near future.
In a short item debate in the House of Commons, Mrs Bruce called for a full debate on the cuts.
Speaking in the House of Commons during questions to the leader of the house, Jacob Rees-Mogg, she asked for a debate on the need to maintain local train services.
She said: “Recent service reductions in my constituency are completely unacceptable.
“CrossCountry is refusing to stop trains at Congleton station at all, citing social distancing requirements. It put on a longer train, for which the platform is too short. At other stations, this issue is managed by only certain train doors being opened.
“At Alsager, East Midlands Trains has cancelled almost its entire hourly service during the day, halving the service from Alsager and resulting in a 900-signature local petition within the past few days.”
Mr Rees-Mogg was sympathetic, saying the issue was “deeply concerning”.
He told the Congleton MP: “That train door excuse sounds particularly feeble, even given the British Rail excuses of old.”
He went on: “Many people are returning to their offices and the economy continues to open up. Train operators must keep up with demand from passengers.”
He said he would raise the matter with transport secretary Grant Shapps, adding: “We will see that they are addressed in full by the department for transport.”
Mrs Bruce has now also written directly to the secretary of state for transport asking for his intervention.