Train firm slashes services at this station from tomorrow because of level crossing delays


More than 1,000 passengers have signed a petition calling for rail services to be restored to their town after it was announced trains would only stop twice a day.

East Midlands Railway says it is increasing the number of trains it runs between Derby and Crewe by a third from Monday – but in future only the first and last trains of the day will stop at Alsager.

EMR says it is cutting its services to the town because trains arriving at Crewe and Stoke were often delayed by the level crossing at Alsager.

The train operator says services provided by West Midlands Trains will plug the gap, but passengers have launched a petition, calling for EMR to restore its regular service.

Only the first and last trains of the day will stop at Alsager Railway Station in future, East Midlands Railway has said

The petition says: “The new timetable shows that Alsager will no longer receive hourly services from Monday to Saturday. Just one train in the morning and evening.

“There has been no consultation with local residents. This is a disgrace from the train operator that manages Alsager Station.

“With more people beginning to travel for work, school, college and university from September, we cannot see a reduction in services from Alsager.

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“We demand that East Midlands Railway reverses its decision to stop hourly services at Alsager and restores them.”

Rail user Megan Clarke says she relies on rail services to visit her son, who lives in Nottingham.

Megan, aged 82, of Alsager, said: “Alsager has grown by about 50 per cent with new houses.

“We have got a lovely station, which is well kept by volunteers, the railway crossing which is very convenient – and no trains.

“I don’t drive and my son lives in Nottingham, so I rely on the railway. I buy a senior railway card every year for that service. If a train doesn’t leave from Alsager it’s no use to me.”

An EMR spokesman said: “From Monday we will be reintroducing more than 70 train services right across the country to provide nearly 97 per cent of our normal timetable.

“This does include changes to our services calling at Alsager. However, an hourly West Midlands Trains service to Crewe and Birmingham New Street will continue.

“We will also continue to monitor passenger demand to understand if any service alterations are required for school or college students. EMR will also continue to call the first and last trains of the day at Alsager.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly but is intended to maintain the excellent punctuality we have delivered in recent months alongside an overall 33 per cent increase in services between Derby and Crewe.

“We have closely analysed the number of passengers travelling, both before and during the Covid pandemic, and scrutinised the reasons why punctuality on this line was not as high as we would expect.

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“In evaluating options we believe the hourly train service provided by West Midlands Trains will provide sufficient capacity for passengers while also maintaining current punctuality levels.

“Our analysis showed services were often delayed by the level crossing next to Alsager and, in turn, were subsequently late when they departed Crewe for their return journey.

“Removing the calls will ensure that trains are on time at Crewe and Stoke more often which will both improve the punctuality of these trains and reduce the knock-on impacts on the performance of other services on the area.”





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