THE introduction of extra commuter train services through the Hope Valley has been welcomed by the chair of the Peak District National Park Authority.
Northern Rail has announced that from December passengers travelling from Sheffield will have an additional service departing at 6.14pm.
There will also be improvements to the Manchester evening service with new departures at 4.45pm and 5.48pm, replacing the current 5.18pm service.
The High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership has been campaigning for the extra services on behalf of commuters living in the Hope Valley area of the Peak District National Park.
Derbyshire county councillor Jean Wharmby, who is also a Peak District National Park Authority member, chairs the rail partnership and Councillor Tony Favell, chair of the authority, is the vice chair.
Councillor Favell said: “As a national park authority we actively encourage people to use public transport instead of the car but if services are not convenient then people will often opt to use their vehicles instead of the train.
“There is currently a significant gap in the timetable that means there is no commuter train from Sheffield to the Hope Valley at the time most people want to use one.
“As a result people are either forced to use their car, leave work early or stay late in order to fit in with the available trains.
“I welcome this decision by Northern Rail and thank them for listening and responding to our concerns. I am sure the new services will prove very popular with people travelling to and from the Hope Valley.”
The Hope Valley Line, between Manchester and Sheffield, is a very scenic railway route in the Peak District National Park, with services stopping at Hope, Edale and Hathersage.