Train timetable changes coming will cut the early trains to London from Harrogate

On the 15 May 2022, the 06:07 and 06:33 services to London will be cut.

The evening services will also be changed with a two-hourly gap.

The withdrawal of a through return service between Leeds, Harrogate and York  in the mid-evening, after the half-hourly service finishes, leaves an appalling two hour gap for users of the line. We refer to the 1929 LeedsYork, 2110 York-Leeds and 2239 Leeds-Harrogate.

So there are no trains from Leeds to Harrogate between 2129 and 2339.  The 2129 is now the last train to Knaresborough and beyond – formerly it was one hour later.

There is no train from York to Harrogate between 2011 and 2211.

Similarly, there’s no train from Harrogate to Leeds between 2046 and 2245. All these cuts particularly inconvenience longer distance travellers returning back to Harrogate or other stations on the route. They severely impact late workers and the evening economy, and will lead to crowding especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

Brian Dunsby from the Harrogate Line supporters said:

All these cuts particularly inconvenience longer distance travellers returning back to Harrogate or other stations on the route.

They severely impact late workers and the evening economy, and will lead to crowding especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

Peak hour services between Harrogate and Leeds had already been cut with the Omicron ‘work from home’ instruction in Dec 2021.

Despite this being rescinded on 20 Jan 2022 they remain cut now and this continues into the new timetable running from May 2022. To this have been added further peak time cuts with the withdrawal of the 0607 Harrogate-Leeds, but also the 0659 Leeds-York and 0847 York-Leeds.

There will be reliance on heavy lifting being done by the 0736 Harrogate – King’s Cross which is not a particularly reliable service and whose cancellation would be serious with the limited alternatives in the current reduced timetable for the large number of passengers this 9-car Azuma carries.

The cuts to Harrogate-Leeds commuter services look like they’ll be restored as peak time as usage increases, ‘Services remain withdrawn as commuter market is suppressed’ and ‘Service better aligned to developing demand’.

Brian Dunsby from the Harrogate Line supporters said:

In contrast to other routes where the reason given is resource shortages, the comments for our line suggests that our cuts are longer term.  This is a great concern as we believe a reinstatement of capacity needs to be ahead of demand, rather than behind it, to make a return to rail commuting attractive.

Northern Railway have said that there are several reasons for these cuts:

  • That their available resources are constrained
  • They say they want to work on a  premise that it is better to run a service that our customers can rely on, rather than import risk of large-scale delays and cancellations
  • All service reductions are short-term, and have emphasised that point that they are working to get back to the December 2021 base plan

Harrogate Informer