Sign the Petition Against Northern Fare Hikes

August 23, 2014

The Campaign for Better Transport are running an on-line petition against scrapping of Cheap Evening fares in Greater Manchester and introduction of higher fares for afternoon/evening services.

If you object to the changes please take a minute to sign the petition here.


New date for next FOWS meeting

August 19, 2014

fows_small_png_logoFOWS next meeting will be on Wednesday (17th September) at 7.15pm in the British Legion Club on Wilfred Street, 5 minutes walk from the station.

Our meetings are free to attend and open to all comers – you don’t need to be a member. If you have something to say about the station or would like to know more about what we’re doing to try and keep improving it, why not come along ?


Steep rises in evening ticket prices ahead

August 16, 2014

Northern Rail have responded to Government pressure to increase revenue by raising fares for afternoon/evening journeys.

From September 8th passengers will need to buy more expensive “Anytime” tickets to travel in Greater Manchester between 16.01 and 18.29. The restrictions apply to all travel – not just the direction of peak flow – and also extend beyond the Greater Manchester boundary to a confusing selection of other routes.

At Walkden we are perhaps fortunate that the popular 18.30 service into Manchester leaves just one minute after the new “peak” time so still remains eligible for off-peak tickets.

However, if you make an evening trip into Manchester from Walkden on the 16.29, 16.49, 17.29 or 17.52 services you will need to buy a £6.80 Anytime Return after Sept. 8th, a 76% increase over the £3.90 Off Peak return.

For passengers returning to Walkden after a day in Manchester, the 16.14, 16.46, 17.17, 17.47, and 18.14 departures from Victoria will all be unusable unless you buy an Anytime ticket.

To add to travellers’ misery, the popular Cheap Evening Return tickets will also scrapped doubling the evening return fare from Walkden to Manchester from £1.95 to £3.90 – so much for the government wanting to encourage people off the roads !

The move is bound to be deeply unpopular with passengers who have faced above-inflation fare increases for many years, and has drawn criticism from consumer protection groups like Passenger Focus and Travel Watch NorthWest.

As well as hitting people’s wallets the changes seems sure to introduce more yet confusion and difficulty for Northern’s front-line staff who will have the unenviable job of enforcing the increases.

The question should also be asked whether the move will even achieve its objective as on many routes (Walkden to Manchester included) bus services are available that will offer a more frequent and – after these price rises – cheaper alternative .


FOWS install new planters at Walkden station

August 10, 2014
FOWS volunteers beside the new cube planter installed today

FOWS volunteers beside the new cube planter installed today

Several hardy FOWS volunteers braved this morning’s heavy rain to install the latest additions to our on-going environmental improvements plan – a third steel trough and another steel cube planter.

Volunteers also cleaned graffiti from the shelter, weeded the flower beds and planted some summer bedding.

Once again our thanks go to Salford City Council for the In Bloom funding which makes these improvements possible, and local supplies J. Hughes Engineering and Linnyshaw Garden Centre for their excellent quality products and generous free deliveries.

The latest trough from J. Hughes sparkling in the Walkden rain


FOWS call for electrification and increased Sunday service in next Northern Rail franchise

August 10, 2014

The Northern Rail franchise, currently operated as a joint venture between Serco and Abellio, will be handed to a new operator from spring 2016 and the government’s selection process has begun in earnest.

FOWS and the Friend’s groups at Atherton, Daisy Hill and Westhoughton have produced a joint response to the government’s invitation for railway stakeholders to input to the requirements of the next franchise agreement.

Our response can be downloaded here and includes the following key points:

  • to maximise efficiency savings and improve capacity the route from Hindley to Salford Crescent via Atherton and Walkden needs to be included in the north-west electrification programme as soon as possible;
  • increasing the hours of operation of the highly successful Sunday service to facilitate morning journeys into Manchester for shop workers, and evening journeys home for travellers returning home from weekends away or days out.
  • increasing revenue and helping keep Ticket Offices open by increasing the range of services available;
  • cleaner, faster trains will drive further passenger growth in the north.

Sun shines on new “In Bloom” planters installed at Walkden

June 22, 2014
Some of the FOWS volunteers who installed the new trough planters at Walkden

Some of the FOWS volunteers who installed the new trough planters at Walkden

Friends of Walkden Station volunteers have been out in today’s sunshine to install the two new platform planters funded by an “In Bloom”  grant from Salford City Council.

The the low “trough” style planters have been manufactured in stainless steel by J. Hughes of Eccles, filled with ballast and compost from Linnyshaw Garden Centre, and planted up with shrubs grown on in members’ gardens.

The troughs are located next to the fence at the far end of the platform where they’ll help to soften the view of the fence as the shrubs grow.

Many thanks to our volunteers for their hard work (shifting 40 bags of ballast and compost up 48 steps and along the full length of the platform isn’t easy !), and our supporters at:

  • Salford City Council for their on-going financial support of the In Bloom improvements at Walkden station;
  • J. Hughes for manufacture and free delivery of more high quality and fine looking planters;
  • Albert and the team at Linnyshaw Garden Centre for supply and free delivery of the ballast, compost and bedding plants;
  • Mike & Sarah – the definition of good neighbours !




Bus replacements next week

May 31, 2014

The last train out from Victoria (the 23.20) is replaced by a bus each evening next week from Monday (2nd June) until Thursday (5th).

The usual warnings about the bus being slower, lacking toilets, and not being able to carry bicycles, non-folding prams, wheelchairs  etc apply.

Only the last Wigan-bound train of each evening is affected by bus replacement – all other services are due to run normally.


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