Responding to the proposed rail service cuts, South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “It is deeply disappointing to see yet more cuts to our rail services in South Yorkshire which will have a huge impact on the commuter corridor between Sheffield and Leeds, and the towns and villages in between which rely on those services to stay connected.
“We are emerging from the pandemic - people have returned to work and are able to move freely, so efforts should be focused on recovering services, not cutting them back.
“Cuts of this nature run the risk of locking in the damage to public transport caused by the pandemic. They affect people’s job prospects, the ability to grow our economy, encourage more cars to be the roads increasing congestion and pollution and in some cases completely cut off whole communities.
“I will be writing to the Secretary of State about this issue and seeking urgent talks with Northern Rail to discuss this.”
Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin has demanded a meeting with the rail operator .
She said: “I’m angry and disappointed to see yet another round of cuts to train services across West Yorkshire, with some of our least connected communities being hit hardest.
“I have written to Northern seeking an urgent meeting to explain why these cuts are taking place, and what steps they will be taking to return to a full timetable.
“I am deeply concerned that the impact of the pandemic is being used as a smokescreen for cuts to local rail services and have written to the Transport Secretary to confirm that his government is committed to supporting operators to re-instate services as soon as possible.
“Rail demand has been recovering more quickly in the North than in other parts of the country.
“At a time when people are returning to offices to work or visiting friends and family, to then cut back services is unfathomable. Our night-time economy will also suffer with so many gaps in services in the evenings.”