Who are we?
The Ormskirk, Preston and Southport Travellers' Association - OPSTA - is the rail user group for West Lancashire's railways using the traditional boundaries described by Preston, Wigan and Liverpool.

We are a non political group that campaigns for the retention, improvement and development of the railway links between Liverpool and Preston via Ormskirk, and from Southport and Kirkby to Manchester via Wigan. 

If you find that we share common aims please join us or follow us here and on twitter @opsta15. Don't hesitate from contacting us with a query, suggestion or feedback.




Fare Collection - Rail users can assist by emailing their observations and experiences to opstafare@gmail.com.


Train Timetables from May 2018 (to follow - see update centre panel)

Ormskirk-Preston a revised temporary timetable will run from 30th July until September and can be found here:
temp timetable

Southport & Kirkby-Manchester  you are still advised to check online before travel

 


 


If you want to take action, provide feedback or go on our mailing list then please email opstasurveys@gmail.com stating your travel experience and service of interest.

If you have suffered a journey delay of more than 30 minutes then you may get compensation if you apply through Northern's DelayRepay scheme www.northernrailway.co.uk/corporate/compensation-information.

And if Apps are your thing then I have not used this but a trusted, fellow Manchester service (sic) user has commended it and apparently over 1000 people have downloaded it already: www.northernfailapp.co.uk

 

May 2018 Timetable Changes and Current Service Issues

Preston - Ormskirk (update 29/7/18)

Northern intend to run more train services from Monday 30th - with many of today's Sunday services (not our line because that service was cancelled weeks ago!) cancelled due to "unexpected" crew shortage it doesn't augur well. Just three return services to be operated by a replacement bus but unfortunately two will be in the peak periods. See bottom left for link to the new timetable.

Southport – Manchester

The current service is dreadful with consistently poor punctuality, many cancellations, short forming of trains and disruption of services for overrunning ‘improvement works’ (sic).

The campaign team supported by Merseytravel’s Rail Development Officer met with Northern and the Rail North Partnership on 29th June. A delayed start to the meeting meant we had barely an hour, however, we covered a lot of ground and it was more constructive than expected.

Northern’s immediate objective and all efforts are to deliver a stable service and complete implementation of the May ’18 timetable by the end of July. Based on current service delivery performance this will be a stretch but they at least gave a progress update on resolving driver availability – all training to complete this month and new rest day working arrangements have been agreed with the unions.

Northern re-iterated its “ambition to develop an all day Piccadilly service” and in their view “the earliest opportunity for wholesale changes will be May ’19”, however, they suggested there may be scope for a small increment of Piccadilly services in December. Northern has put some thought into these initial improvements in terms of a third am (08.xx Southport) and pm (16.xxPiccadilly) commuter service and seem prepared to discuss other commuter issues (eg 17.xx Victoria).

Clearly we need to get this agreed formally and ask why not sooner.

There are many threats and barriers to progress being made. In order to bring stability to national rail services, Rail Delivery Group has placed an embargo on any further timetable changes before May 2019. We will seek an exemption on the basis changes will be limited and localised, and will alleviate some peak time pressure in Manchester.

The situation regarding the Class 769 bi mode train development remains unclear but their availability is apparently not a prerequisite to restoring the Southport services. Nevertheless, availability of the right rolling stock remains a risk to us – it is clear today they do not have enough diesel units with services often reduced to two carriages. Northern gave us an overview but at this point we could not reach a definitive position.

There is a major risk we will still be denied or pushed back for many reasons, some legitimate, which is why in conjunction with our MPs, we still must strive to get a formal industry commitment.

We are also considering a number of other courses of action. If you have suggestions, comments or other feedback please contact us.