Horwich Parkway Station taken over by TfGM

Status
Not open for further replies.

Trackman

Established Member
Joined
28 Feb 2013
Messages
1,676
Location
Lewisham
As of today Horwich Parkway becomes the first station to be operated by TfGM.
I wonder what changes are afoot, re-branding?

HORWICH Parkway Station has made history by being the first to be operated by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) as part of the city-region's rail plans.


Andy Burnham has welcomed the news as the station comes under local control from February 1 after being previously run by Northern Trains Limited.


Horwich Parkway will act as a blueprint for Greater Manchester’s future approach to station management, which includes working with local partners and the rail industry to ensure stations are accessible, integrated and reflect the needs of their communities.
AD
TfGM will now be responsible for everything at the station, except the running of the trains and the tracks they run on.
This includes selling tickets, customer service, passenger assistance, cleaning and day-to-day maintenance and long-term renewals and enhancements.
Councillor Stuart Haslam, Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “We support Greater Manchester’s long-term vision for an integrated transport network that supports sustainable economic growth.

“Horwich Parkway is a vital transport link for our communities and businesses due to its proximity to Middlebrook Retail Park, the University of Bolton Stadium and a growing number of residential properties, and we look forward to working with TfGM to ensure the station continues to meet the changing needs of passengers, residents and visitors.”
Although Horwich Parkway is the first rail station that TfGM operate and manage on a day-to-day basis, it has been responsible for all enhancements and renewals at Horwich Parkway since its construction in 1999.
The takeover is part of Greater Manchester's long-term plan for rail, which includes more local control over stations.
It also plays a role in Our Network, the city-region's 10-year plan to create an integrated, simple and convenient public transport system.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “We have long-standing ambitions to transform rail stations in Greater Manchester, managing them for and on behalf of local people. Taking over the running of Horwich Parkway is a key first step on that journey.

“More local control over our public transport services is key to Greater Manchester being able to design and deliver a network that is properly joined-up across all forms of transport and contribute to achieving the priorities of the city-region and all the 10 districts.
“We also have ambitions to transform rail services in Greater Manchester, which was set out in Our Prospectus for Rail, and I look forward to seeing the outcome of the long-awaited Williams Review and working with Government to ensure we have a stronger voice in decisions on how services and timetables are designed, specified and operated.”
AD
Councillor Mark Aldred, Chair of the Greater Manchester Transport Committee, said: “Stations are the focal point for many communities and should evolve to meet the needs of the people and places they serve, as part of a truly integrated travel offer.
“As a first step, bringing Horwich Parkway within our control will allow us to plan for the long term, complement TfGM’s existing capabilities across other modes and supports our ambition to create a truly integrated and customer-focused transport system for Greater Manchester.
“TfGM will also continue to work in partnership with Network Rail, rail operators and other industry stakeholders to identify improvement opportunities to support the changing needs of passengers, residents and visitors at all of Greater Manchester’s rail stations.”
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Ianno87

Veteran Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
15,199
Horwich Parkway has always struck me as an odd one in accessibility terms. Big, popular car park off the M61, but not much else.

It ought to be a textbook example of having a frequent Horwich 'town' bus that runs around the various estates to connect to trains (and Middlebrook retail park), there was a short-lived one when the station first opened (I think commercially operated at the time). But the bus stop outside the station has been completely unserved for many years now.
 

Trackman

Established Member
Joined
28 Feb 2013
Messages
1,676
Location
Lewisham
Horwich Parkway has always struck me as an odd one in accessibility terms. Big, popular car park off the M61, but not much else.

It ought to be a textbook example of having a frequent Horwich 'town' bus that runs around the various estates to connect to trains (and Middlebrook retail park), there was a short-lived one when the station first opened (I think commercially operated at the time). But the bus stop outside the station has been completely unserved for many years now.
Years ago I went to Scan computers, it was a fair trek from the station. Can't see many people using it for shopping at Middlebrook either.
Shame about the buses.
 

Ianno87

Veteran Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
15,199
Years ago I went to Scan computers, it was a fair trek from the station. Can't see many people using it for shopping at Middlebrook either.
Shame about the buses.

A fair few people do use it for Middlebrook; not really for shopping (you'd go in the car), but for visiting the leisure parts (cinema, bowling, restaurants etc.)
 

Geeves

Established Member
Joined
6 Jan 2009
Messages
1,314
Location
Rochdale
The difference between Horwich Parkway and other GM stations is that it was always owned directly by the transport authority from new, the running of the station was just let out to the railway operator.

In regular times it was a very popular park and ride with a good service in either direction, I can assume it will recover eventually especially the the clear air zone aspirations in the city.

On a personal note it was a good station to cover, nice big and most importantly warm office!
 

Djgr

Member
Joined
30 Jul 2018
Messages
1,084
You would have to be very brave to argue the case for the other way around and for Northern to take over a station!
 

Llandudno

Established Member
Joined
25 Dec 2014
Messages
1,355
Looking forward to TfGM taking over stations like Reddish South and Denton, maybe they will open a ticket office and a Starbucks!
 

323235

Established Member
Joined
8 Dec 2007
Messages
1,895
Location
North East Cheshire
Is this a precursor to a TfGM rail concession take over management of Greater Manchester stations? Looking at the situation in London, London Overground manage stations such as Gospel Oak for instance rather than TfL directly.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
70,555
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
Is this a precursor to a TfGM rail concession take over management of Greater Manchester stations? Looking at the situation in London, London Overground manage stations such as Gospel Oak for instance rather than TfL directly.

Probably yes. It did occur to me that it's rather unprecedented - Merseytravel don't manage stations either, the Merseyrail concession does - and Merseytravel is probably the most "hands-on" PTE.
 

Djgr

Member
Joined
30 Jul 2018
Messages
1,084
Probably yes. It did occur to me that it's rather unprecedented - Merseytravel don't manage stations either, the Merseyrail concession does - and Merseytravel is probably the most "hands-on" PTE.

Probably yes. It did occur to me that it's rather unprecedented - Merseytravel don't manage stations either, the Merseyrail concession does - and Merseytravel is probably the most "hands-on" PTE.
But Merseytravel are quite prescriptive in terms of what Merseyrail does?

I would guess TfGM had a nose around the local stations and concluded that a hands off approach has led to a bit of a shoddy performance.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
70,555
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
But Merseytravel are quite prescriptive in terms of what Merseyrail does?

Yes, true, it's their concession (rather like LO, and more like but not the same as Metrolink) rather than a nationally controlled franchise.

I would guess TfGM had a nose around the local stations and concluded that a hands off approach has led to a bit of a shoddy performance.

I think that is entirely fair, indeed a bit of British understatement. The condition of stations between Metrolink and local heavy rail in Greater Manchester is quite markedly different.
 

Llandudno

Established Member
Joined
25 Dec 2014
Messages
1,355
The conditions of local rail stations in the Merseytravel and TfGM contrast quite markedly, even those Merseytravel stations not served by Merseyrail.

Compare the Merseytravel stations such as Rainhill, Whiston, Huyton with the likes of Patricroft, Ashburys, Belle View etc.
 

Whisky Papa

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2019
Messages
255
I notice that no station details (other than the map) now appear on National Rail Enquiries website. Perhaps TfGM haven't been told they need to supply these now?https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/HWI/details.html

Does anyone know what has happened to the Northern staff previously employed here? I know TfGM started making noises about running stations some years ago when I was still at Reddish North, and I would have been extremely unimpressed to find I was TUPEd to TfGM and lost my Northern/ATOC travel facilities. Any concessions TfGM might have offered would be largely irrelevant as I didn't live in their area.

Edited to add link.
 

Geeves

Established Member
Joined
6 Jan 2009
Messages
1,314
Location
Rochdale
I believe it was the same scenario as when Altrincham booking office went over to TfGM and the staff there were given the option of moving to other stations. I think one person has decided to stay at Horwich.
 

Whisky Papa

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2019
Messages
255
I believe it was the same scenario as when Altrincham booking office went over to TfGM and the staff there were given the option of moving to other stations. I think one person has decided to stay at Horwich.
Fair enough. I think the proposal some years ago I mentioned was for TfGM to have taken on all of the stations, so that wouldn't have been an option had it come to pass.

I do wonder how they go on for cover with running just the odd station? Knowing the number of locations that I have covered at, and the regular appearance of staff from other stations at Bradford Interchange during my years there, there is clearly a huge benefit to having a large pool of experienced staff on tap.
 

Geeves

Established Member
Joined
6 Jan 2009
Messages
1,314
Location
Rochdale
Yes I remember it well and their certainly want much appetite from the staff to be transferred out!

I covered Horwich many times and my home station is Victoria, it was also covered from Atherton and I know others went there too so lots of choice, not sure how it works now. I wonder if Northern took their machines out?
 

Razza

Member
Joined
2 Feb 2021
Messages
5
Location
North West
Horwich Parkway has always been a TfGM owned station, just that Northern managed it. Just the one member of staff has moved across but that person has always worked at the station since the booking office opened. Nothing much will change at the moment apart from improvements to the station such a working PA.
 

Djgr

Member
Joined
30 Jul 2018
Messages
1,084
Fair enough. I think the proposal some years ago I mentioned was for TfGM to have taken on all of the stations, so that wouldn't have been an option had it come to pass.

I do wonder how they go on for cover with running just the odd station? Knowing the number of locations that I have covered at, and the regular appearance of staff from other stations at Bradford Interchange during my years there, there is clearly a huge benefit to having a large pool of experienced staff on tap.

I would guess that it is a mixture of pragmatic opportunism coupled with guinea pig testing but you are correct that managing just the odd station doesn't seem to make much sense.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
70,555
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
Horwich Parkway has always been a TfGM owned station, just that Northern managed it. Just the one member of staff has moved across but that person has always worked at the station since the booking office opened. Nothing much will change at the moment apart from improvements to the station such a working PA.

Often with TUPE from a big to a small organisation staff are offered the option to stay or go, provided the old company has a suitable role. We don't of course know if that happened here or not.
 

Razza

Member
Joined
2 Feb 2021
Messages
5
Location
North West
Often with TUPE from a big to a small organisation staff are offered the option to stay or go, provided the old company has a suitable role. We don't of course know if that happened here or not.
That's what happened at Horwich, staff were offered a limited choice of alternative roles within Northern (side-ways) move.
 

Trackman

Established Member
Joined
28 Feb 2013
Messages
1,676
Location
Lewisham
Often with TUPE from a big to a small organisation staff are offered the option to stay or go, provided the old company has a suitable role. We don't of course know if that happened here or not.
I've seen this happen.
Also I've seen people stay with effectively a pay-cut which may sound baffling, but they were awarded with promotions not long after.
 

AMD

Member
Joined
6 Dec 2017
Messages
454
Is this a precursor to a TfGM rail concession take over management of Greater Manchester stations?
Nothing in the short to medium term. In terms of what has been announced internally within Northern, this station has always been owned by TfGM as opposed to Network Rail and as far as has been said it's the only one they own. So TfGM have just ended the operating 'lease' Northern held, whereas all the other stations in the TfGM area are leased to Northern by NR, so it's not impossible for other stations in future to go under TfGM control but there's a different ball game to play.
 

scrapy

Established Member
Joined
15 Dec 2008
Messages
1,641
The conditions of local rail stations in the Merseytravel and TfGM contrast quite markedly, even those Merseytravel stations not served by Merseyrail.

Compare the Merseytravel stations such as Rainhill, Whiston, Huyton with the likes of Patricroft, Ashburys, Belle View etc.
Whilst on the whole Merseyside stations are better than Greater Manchester ones I think it's due to staffing although I'm not sure exactly how the first to last train staffing in Merseyside is funded. Stations in Merseyside do benefit from more clock face timetables

I don't think you've picked comparable stations though, picking two of the better Merseyside stations and some of the worst Manchester ones. Huyton would be most comparable to somewhere like Cheadle Hulme (junction station, 4 platforms, electrified). Rainhill probably comparable to Broadbottom (fairly historic building on one side, stepped footbridge, electrified, 2 platforms, 2 trains per hour), Whiston I'd say more comparable to Lostock (electrified, small modern building, 2 trains per hour, parking). In the case of Whiston despite being staffed full time it actually feels unstaffed as the ticket office faces away from the platforms and there are quite often anti social groups hanging around that the staff member is probably oblivious to.

I think all the remaining TFGM stations without PIS screens and announcement are to get them within the next 12 months with the exceptions of Clifton, Ardwick, Denton and Reddish South so at least there will be some improvements.
 

Djgr

Member
Joined
30 Jul 2018
Messages
1,084
I we
Whilst on the whole Merseyside stations are better than Greater Manchester ones I think it's due to staffing although I'm not sure exactly how the first to last train staffing in Merseyside is funded. Stations in Merseyside do benefit from more clock face timetables

I don't think you've picked comparable stations though, picking two of the better Merseyside stations and some of the worst Manchester ones. Huyton would be most comparable to somewhere like Cheadle Hulme (junction station, 4 platforms, electrified). Rainhill probably comparable to Broadbottom (fairly historic building on one side, stepped footbridge, electrified, 2 platforms, 2 trains per hour), Whiston I'd say more comparable to Lostock (electrified, small modern building, 2 trains per hour, parking). In the case of Whiston despite being staffed full time it actually feels unstaffed as the ticket office faces away from the platforms and there are quite often anti social groups hanging around that the staff member is probably oblivious to.

I think all the remaining TFGM stations without PIS screens and announcement are to get them within the next 12 months with the exceptions of Clifton, Ardwick, Denton and Reddish South so at least there will be some improvements.
I would say Huyton, Rainhill and Whiston are poor compared to most Merseyrail Electric stations.

Whilst staffing helps, Northern stations tend to suffer from a general lack of attention to detail, which suggests a lack of pride and an unwillingness to part with cash.
 

Llandudno

Established Member
Joined
25 Dec 2014
Messages
1,355
Whilst on the whole Merseyside stations are better than Greater Manchester ones I think it's due to staffing although I'm not sure exactly how the first to last train staffing in Merseyside is funded. Stations in Merseyside do benefit from more clock face timetables

I don't think you've picked comparable stations though, picking two of the better Merseyside stations and some of the worst Manchester ones. Huyton would be most comparable to somewhere like Cheadle Hulme (junction station, 4 platforms, electrified). Rainhill probably comparable to Broadbottom (fairly historic building on one side, stepped footbridge, electrified, 2 platforms, 2 trains per hour), Whiston I'd say more comparable to Lostock (electrified, small modern building, 2 trains per hour, parking). In the case of Whiston despite being staffed full time it actually feels unstaffed as the ticket office faces away from the platforms and there are quite often anti social groups hanging around that the staff member is probably oblivious to.

I think all the remaining TFGM stations without PIS screens and announcement are to get them within the next 12 months with the exceptions of Clifton, Ardwick, Denton and Reddish South so at least there will be some improvements.
Not sure all Merseytravel’s City Line stations are staffed from first to last train though?

Many Northern stations within Greater Manchester are fairly scruffy and unloved though and I am sure are a deterrent to travel, local stations towards New Mills and Rose Hill plus some of the stations on the CLC route towards Warrington Central.

But perhaps the worst place to wait for a train in Greater Manchester is Piccadilly, Platforms 13 and 14, but I think that has been highlighted numerous times on other threads...!
 

C J Snarzell

Established Member
Joined
11 Apr 2019
Messages
1,420
I used Horwich Parkway a few months ago when a Wigan Wallgate service was cancelled at Manchester Victoria and I decided to board the Blackpool North service that went via Bolton and get a lift from HP as it is the closest accessible station to where I live along that line of route.

I have to say, HP late at night is a very uninviting place. The station works well because it serves the Wanderers ground and of course the Middlebrook which is only a short walk away.

The TfGM seems to have quite a few projects up its sleeve to improve public transport across the Manchester area but none of it seems to take into account the impacts of travel post Covid when passengers/commuter levels will be greatly reduced in comparison to pre Covid.

I suspect once Andy Burnham is finally booted out of office in May, the TfGM's initiatives will change.

CJ
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top