Campaign calls for improved services at Belper train station

Belper train station
Belper train station

A frustrated commuter has grown tired of cramming into ‘chocker’ carriages at Belper railway station and launched a campaign to urge East Midlands Trains to address overcrowding on rush hour services.

Belper resident Pam Grainger, who works at the city council in Leicester, has set up a Facebook petition to raise awareness of the problem, which she says can result in as many as 100 people attempting to get onto already packed trains with standing room only.

She is now asking East Midlands Trains to put on extra services or carriages, or alternatively arrange for trains travelling between Sheffield and London to stop at Belper in order to alleviate the situation.

She said: “Since the weather changed the numbers have just been huge - there must be 80 to 100 people trying to get on at Belper every morning.

“The Sheffield to London train just goes past leaving just the two carriages on the Matlock to Derby train for people to use.

“I know the London train stops at smaller stations after Derby, so why shouldn’t it stop at Belper?

“There is a good car park in Belper so it would make sense.

“Sometimes when the Matlock connection is cancelled the Sheffield train stops at Derby, so it is obviously possible.

“In addition to this the Matlock to Derby connection is provided by much older trains so Belper commuters are not being well served.”

Pam, who is currently pregnant and will be using the train until December when she goes on maternity leave, says she intends to get some cards printed for handing out at the station to drum up support for her campaign.

The petition can be found on Facebook by searching for ‘Pick up at Belper’.

A spokesperson for East Midlands Trains said: “We regularly seek feedback from our customers and stakeholders on improvements they would like to see to our timetable and we have made a number of improvements for customers in Belper such as the direct trains between Belper and Newark Castle introduced earlier this year. In addition, just last year, we introduced a direct evening return service from Sheffield and Chesterfield to Belper providing better options for commuters, students and other travellers.

“We are aware of the aspirations of our passengers and stakeholders in Belper for extra morning services to Derby, however we currently have no spare carriages to strengthen existing services or provide extra services on this route. The number of carriages made available for each train company are agreed with the Department for Transport at the start of every franchise and every carriage within our whole fleet is already being used.

“We will continue to work with stakeholders to seek feedback and look at possible options to improve services on this route in the future.”