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Proposed Timetable Changes - Buxton Line

Woodsmoor Station Friends' Response

Proposed Timetable Changes - Buxton Line

Woodsmoor Station Friends have been actively monitoring the proposed changes to the Buxton line timetable since draft proposals were made available in May 2017.

As outlined, the changes would be a significant detriment for the commuters who rely on Woodsmoor Station to get to work, school, and Stepping Hill Hospital.

Despite extensive lobbying, surveys and provision of supporting commentary it appears the changes as originally proposed will be implemented from May 2018. The draft timetable is attached below.

In response, Woodsmoor Station Friends arranged a meeting to discuss the changes and develop a comprehensive response on behalf of the local community. The minutes of the meeting are appended below.

Meeting of Woodsmoor Station Friends Group (WSF)

10th April 2018, 19:30 at The Dog and Partridge, Buxton Road

Chair – Andy Stobbie

Minutes – Sharon Summers

Attendees – 21 people, including Councillor John Wright

1. Purpose of Meeting

To discuss proposed new timetable from Northern Rail, due to commence 20th May 2018, affecting, in particular, users of Woodsmoor and Davenport stations.

2. Background

Andy gave an overview of the background to the proposed changes, which were originally aired in May 2017. At the start of the consultation period, a meeting of WSF took place in June 2017 where there was a groundswell of feeling that the proposed changes would lead to a diminution of services to the Woodsmoor and Davenport stations.

Following the original meeting, several actions were taken to attempt to address the service changes with Northern Rail, including a petition and direct emails to TfGM representatives for a co-ordinated response. (The submitted response can be found here: Elected officials were also mailed by concerned individuals.

Northern Rail suggested there would be updates on the proposal in November 2017. This has never materialised. The new timetable was then due to be published on 7th April 2018, which has also not occurred.

3. Current Status

The official timetable had not been released at the time of the meeting, however a number of online sites were displaying similar data in relation to searched for travel dates at the end of May so a ‘best guess’ schedule was compiled and distributed at the meeting.

Essentially, it is believed that 3 trains per hour will stop at Woodsmoor and Davenport but, crucially, there will be a period of 40-45 minutes in the hour between services. The impact of this service congestion will particularly adversely affect morning commuters with no service stopping (at Woodsmoor) between 07:38 and 08:23.

Further, all trains will terminate at Piccadilly, with the possible exception of one train which will stop at Oxford Road, Deansgate and Victoria. Anyone wanting to travel to Oxford Road, Salford, Bolton and onwards will therefore have to catch connecting services at Stockport or Piccadilly.

There was also a discussion about whether Northern are contravening their operating conditions regarding the number of services offered during the peak period, but it is unclear whether this is case.

4. Possible Actions

A number of actions were proposed that individuals may wish to pursue, including:

  • Write to elected representatives 
  • Write to Northern Rail – Northern Rail MD  Northern Regional Director   and Community Rail Officer Stephen Forde  .
  • Forming a Rail User group in conjunction with other affected users at Davenport, Heaton Chapel and Levenshulme. Andy has contacted Levenshulme Friends group today to gauge interest in this proposal. (Levenshulme have a footfall of 700,000 per annum, Woodsmoor 253,000, and there is a grave concern at Levenshulme about passenger safety on the platform with the concentration of services in a 15 minute window during each hour). A Rail User Group is more of a pressure group than a Friends Group, since it’s purpose is to represent rail users, rather than local residents, and therefore carries more weight when dealing with train operators, etc. However this is not something Andy can or wants to do on his own- he would need help from people who are prepared to get involved and do something.
  • Contact local press with a press release and request attendance at the local Area Committee

5. Attendance at Area Committee (Stepping Hill Ward)

The final course of action proposed is for interested parties to attend the next Area Committee and raise appropriate questions. Several questioners and varying related question topics will add weight to the overall sense of protest.

It is therefore suggested that a co-ordinated group of people attend and ask questions on the following topics:

  • Impact on health of local community – the A6 is one of the busiest and most polluted roads in the country with a disproportionately high incidence of asthma along the A6 corridor so why are train services being neglected at peak periods, forcing commuters back into their cars, in an effort to get to work on time?
  • Stockport Council policy is to reduce road use in favour of public transport use. As above, concentrated train services will negatively impact the choice of commuters. Shouldn’t Northern be working in conjunction with Councils and TfGM to support sustainable transport in Greater Manchester? (see more detail of Greater Manchester strategies in davenport response document in relation to the environment, health, transport network and regional growth)
  • Reference to Andy Burnham’s plans for transport in Greater Manchester
  • People have moved to this area for the transport links and they are now being depleted
  • Woodsmoor station is the station for Stepping Hill hospital
  • Individual stories of requirements to travel to stations no longer on the direct service and the impact of this

Area Committee meeting details.

Full details can be found at

Date: 17th April 2018

Time: 18:00

Location: Committee Room 2, Town Hall. View directions


Response From Davenport Friends

Here is some useful commentary from our colleagues at Davenport Station that offers further detail on the changes and potential impacts. You can download it here


A leaflet has been produced to promote awareness of the changes and offer information to rail users on how to raise concerns and comments. You can view Woodsmoor Version here. Davenport version here

Keep In Touch

If you have any comments, contacts, ideas, or approaches that can help us with this campaign please use the contact section on our homepage or leave a comment below letting us know what you think.

Thanks for your continued support

Woodsmoor Station Friends

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