A NEW reduction in the number of trains running between Barrow and Manchester has been labelled ‘unacceptable’.

Furness MP Simon Fell said he had lobbied the rail minister after five services between the two destinations were cut as Northern introduced new timetables.

The rail operator made the change as new timetables came into effect on Monday.

There are now only six direct trains running from Barrow to Manchester each day, down from 11.

Mr Fell has written to Northern, saying the changes had left him ‘dismayed’.

In a letter addressed to Northern managing director Nick Donovan, he said: “Whilst I understand that Northern’s intentions behind the recent timetabling changes have been to provide more services in the mornings and evenings, the changes to the Barrow to Manchester services have completely failed in this regard.

“The new changes will increase the pressure on these commuter trains as more people will be inclined to travel earlier to relieve the inconvenience of the multiple changes later in the day.

“The replacement of a quick, easy train journey which may involve changeovers of up to an hour is clearly not acceptable to the majority of passengers.

“I also hope you can understand the confusion and anger felt by many of my constituents at the removal of many key services just months after the introduction of new rolling stock which was partly designed to increase the number of services on routes across the region.

“I would urge you to reconsider this decision and to reinstate the services to the previous timetable as soon as feasibly possible.”

The Mail contacted Northern for comment but did not receive a response at the time of going to press.

Announcing the timetable changes, which apply across the Northern network, earlier this month bosses from the rail operator said they were designed to 'provide more services during the morning and evening peaks, representing the "new normal" for rail travellers as the network continues to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic'.