Rail commuters face two-hour gap between services

Rail passengers in Selby are to call on the Government to intervene over a planned new timetable that would leave a gap of almost two hours between commuter services from the town to York.

No services would run from Selby to York between 7.48am and 9.38am on weekdays from May under the draft schedule drawn up by train operator Northern Rail.

Selby and District Rail Users' Group said the new timetable also included fewer Saturday evening services from York and extended journey times for connections to the North.

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Members are to raise their concerns about the proposals with the Department for Transport, local MP Nigel Adams, the Office of Rail Regulation and consumer watchdog Passenger Focus.

Group secretary Reg French said: "We have been pressing for years for a better service, but these plans will mean that commuters will suffer as well as passengers travelling for leisure.

"What happens now is that a train leaves York for Selby at 8.40 and comes back, leaving Selby at 9.15.

"But under the new timetable, the 8.40 train from York will go to Selby and then carry on to Hull. It won't come back until later."

Northern Rail spokeswoman Carolyn Watson said the changes were part of a wider shake-up of train times for services on or connected to the East Coast Main Line. "Our services have to fit in with those of other operators and in changes of this scale it is usually the long-distance services that are agreed first, with local services built around them," Ms Watson said.

"We have worked hard to minimise the impact to passengers and the changes we have introduced are minimal."