Commuters have expressed their relief after First Transpennine decided not to cancel a vital peak time rail service.
Regular users of the 5.06pm Windermere to Manchester train were facing the loss of the service from Monday, February 10, leaving a two hour gap in the timetable for anyone travelling to Lancaster, and a much longer journey involving several changes for anyone travelling further south.
The decision would have meant no available trains for the journey between 4.24pm and 6.22pm.
Several commuters set up an online petition and collected almost 500 signatures on the train, many from people who were unaware the service was about to be cancelled.
Commuter Dawn Groundsell, one of those behind the petition, said: “Many people, including me, rely on this train to commute to and from work.
“We are really delighted First Transpennine has decided not to cancel the 5.30pm Monday-Thursday service from Kendal to Lancaster, and to reinstate the Friday 5.30pm service which it cancelled in December,” she said.
“Leaving a two-hour hole in the timetable would’ve made commuting to work very difficult for many people, including myself, and some people told us they may have to leave jobs that they would no longer be able to commute back from.
“I’m very glad the train company has decided to listen to local train users and not prioritise through trains from London and Manchester to Scotland over local needs.”
First Transpennine said the planned timetable change was due to the introduction of electrified trains on the West Coast Main Line, while only diesel trains can run on the Windermere to Oxenholme line.
To solve the problem, a Scottish train has had its time altered by a few minutes to accommodate a connection.