Apology made to Wakefield rail passengers

Rail operator Northern has apologised after a temporary shelter promised for Wakefield Kirkgate Station was not built over the winter.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 9:55 am
The temporary shelter was never built.

Train chiefs had promised a structure would be put up on Platforms 2 and 3 at the station so passengers weren’t left exposed to the elements.

The platforms have been without shelter since a waiting room was demolished in 2019 and plans by another operator to build a replacement, with toilets, stalled due to Covid.

Pete Myers, Northern’s stakeholder manager, told a public meeting that building a temporary shelter had proved impossible because it would not have withstood the weather.

He said: “I do apologise to our customers who’ve had to stand outside this winter. It’s certainly not something we’d have wanted them to do.

“We did look at putting a temporary structure up but in the end the wind was so great it would have been ludicrously costly. It’s on an embankment and it’s so open there it would have probably ended up at Wakefield Westgate.”

Mr Myers insisted that the plans to build a new permanent waiting room would still go ahead and would be completed by Grand Central.

However, he said the operator had been hit so hard by Covid they’d barely “run a train” throughout the pandemic.

Northern said it’s passenger numbers are currently between 15 and 20 per cent of pre-Covid levels. Although some services were cut in response to the most recent lockdown, Mr Myers said most trains would be restored on May 16.