TransPennine passengers in Yorkshire may have to change trains on 'stopping service' as operator bids to improve reliability

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Passengers on some TransPennine Express services in Yorkshire will no longer be able to get a direct train to their destination due to changes introduced by the under-fire operator to improve reliability.

From December 9, the 'stopping service' between Leeds and Manchester Piccadilly will be divided into two separate trains, one between Manchester and Huddersfield and the other between Huddersfield and Leeds.

It means passengers from Leeds will not be able to reach Greenfield, Marsden and Slaithwaite stations without changing at Huddersfield for the majority of the day, and Manchester passengers to Deighton, Mirfield, Ravensthorpe, Batley, Morley and Cottingley will also have to change.

TransPennine will continue to operate fast trains between Leeds and Manchester Victoria, which stop at Dewsbury and Huddersfield.

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According to the operator, the changes to the stopping service mean it will go back to what was in place before it took it over from Northern.

The firm says "splitting the service in this way will mean there is greater reliability overall and will enable trains to overtake one another during times of disruption".

But the change comes amid criticism of TransPennine due to the high number of cancellations of trains which were due to stop at smaller stations like Marsden and Slaithwaite, as revealed this month in The Yorkshire Post.

Its performance has also deteriorated dramatically since the chaos of the botched introduction of timetables by rival operator Northern in May, with less than two-thirds of trains arriving on time in July. This figure improved over the summer but dipped even lower this month, with only 63.5 per cent of trains running on time and 15.5 per cent very late or cancelled.

Leo Goodwin, Managing Director for TransPennine Express said: “This December, our changes will be largely be a rollover of our existing timetable as our priority is running a train service our customers can rely on.

“Lots of work has already gone into further improving the performance of services along this route and I want to thank customers for their patience during this time.”

Over the next 12 months, TransPennine will begin operating brand new Nova trains across the Pennines as part of a £500million investment in improving rail services across the North.

Customers travelling to or from any of these stations are advised to plan ahead and check their services online at: www.tpexpress.co.uk/travel-information/train-timetables.