The Hope Valley Railway Users Group has produced a major report into the Hope Valley rail service including all contributions received from the 2011 residents survey. This produced an excellent response, from over 40% of households in some villages, of whom 60% said they would use the rail service more frequently if there were a better timetable. This suggests an extra 30,000 return journeys per year by residents alone. If tourists are added in, this could mean an almost 50% increase in usage.
The stopping service is currently one of the least frequent in the country, despite it connecting the major cities of Sheffield and Manchester through a popular part of the Peak District. For substantial parts of the day and evening, and all day Sundays, the trains run only every two hours. We are hoping the evidence in this report will help us in our campaign for significant timetable improvements and enable us to influence the renewal of the current rail franchise which expires in April 2014.
The report is available in PDF form below (4.5MB download):
An excellent article about the Hope Valley line was recently published in Todays Railways UK and is reproduced here by kind permission of the publishers Platform 5 Publishing (3.2MB PDF download):