SUNDAY SERVICE ON THE HARROGATE LINE

I was recently asked if I could try to get an improved Sunday train service from Horsforth both in the direction of Leeds and in the direction of York.

I wrote to the Rail Manager at Metro and asked the following

“Have you ever carried out any assessment as to whether or not there is demand for the service? If yes, what were the results? If no, would you consider introducing a service if there was demand? If no, why not?”

I received the following response:

“1.       Have you ever carried out any assessment as to whether or not there is demand for the service?

Not in the last 12 months, though we will be doing so as part of the re-franchising process for Northern Rail in the coming months. This will include demand for services Monday – Sunday. There have been a number of studies in the past few years looking at overall demand on the Harrogate line which have always shown demand growth to be strong, though these have focussed on Monday – Friday in particular.

2.     If no, would you consider introducing a service if there was demand? If no, why not?

Yes. We will be consulting on the next Metro Railplan in the New Year, and likely to be included in this plan will be the need to modernise the service frequency on a Sunday across West Yorkshire rail routes, including the Harrogate line. Sundays are now the busiest day of the week for many inter-city train operators, however local services don’t always match up. We will be looking to change this in the next franchise, however it will need to be done in a financially sustainable way. Being the destination it is, Harrogate (and other locations on the route) would no doubt generate significant additional demand for rail travel on a Sunday if the offer was better.”

I would be interested in your views on this.