MORE direct trains are due to be run between Barrow and Manchester when new timetable changes come into effect.

A reduction in direct trains between the two destinations caused consternation among passengers in September, when operator Northern said the pandemic had affected the running of services.

But now the operator has confirmed that a new timetable will come into effect on December 14.

It will see an increase in the number of direct trains between Barrow and Manchester Airport as well as hourly trains between the Furness town and Lancaster.

A spokesman for Northern said: “In mid-December we plan to introduce new timetables to build upon the modest enhancements seen in the autumn.

“This will see the return of hourly trains between Barrow and Lancaster, with 11 trains per day between Barrow and Manchester Airport.

“We are pleased to be able to return more trains to this vital route and fully understand the key role we play in providing mobility for the communities that are at the heart of everything we do.

"We are determined to make a positive impact – through our services – for those who live in, work in and visit the north of England.”

A boss from the rail operator previously explained why direct train services between Barrow and Manchester Airport had been cut under new timetable changes.

The number of direct trains between the two stations were cut from 11 to five.

Chris Jackson, the regional director for Northern, said: “Some daytime services which would normally operate through to Manchester Airport are terminating or starting at Lancaster or Preston. Our peak time trains continue to offer a direct service between Barrow and Manchester."

Mr Jackson said the impact of the pandemic had affected the operator’s ability to train ‘hundreds of drivers and train crews'.

Robert Parker, of the Furness Line Action Group welcomed the new changes, saying: "It's basically going to be as it was."