Some of the issues that SMART continues to campaign on are
- A punctual and reliable train service
This is a busy two-track railway, carrying a mix of express passenger and stopping trains, plus occasionally freight. it’s challenging to maintain punctuality and reliability, and too often it is the infrequent local stopping service (or, to be more precise, passengers on the local stopping service) that suffers disproportionately when disruption occurs
2. Giving us decent information when trains are cancelled
It’s bad enough when a train is cancelled, even worse when there is no information or it is actually incorrect.
3. Safety and Disabled Access at Slaithwaite and Marsden stations
At Marsden platforms 1 and 2 are inaccessible for wheelchair users and people with prams whilst at Slaithwaite the cobbled ramp to platform 1 means that the station is only fully accessible if the passenger is being dropped off and collected by car. The proposed Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) was supposed to provide full disabled access at all stations along the route, but in September 2019 it was revealed that disabled access had been deleted from TRU to save money. In May 2022 it has finally been confirmed that both stations will be made fully accessible, with Marsden station having a new footbridge with lifts.
4. Vandalism at Slaithwaite station
This seems to have been improved, partly due to the efforts of Friends of Slaithwaite station
5. Improvement to the train service,
in the shape of
- the restoration of the half-hourly peak frequency which was removed in the disastrous May 2018 timetable (this has been achieved with the December 2019 timetable changes);
- two trains per hour throughout the day;
- through trains to Leeds (the December 2019 timetable provides these at peak times only);
- improved (or rather restored) connectivity to Manchester Victoria; and
- earlier first and later last trains.
When one campaigns on public transport issues the relationship between one form of mobility and another quickly becomes evident. Supporters of SMART continue to point out the importance of having good bus services in a rural area to get around as well as link up with the railway stations that serve the Colne Valley.
SMART members campaigned on:
– the Taxibus service that linked Wilberlee, Pole Moor and other outlying districts with Slaithwaite station and the village.