Festive rush leads to early station closure

Manchester Christmas Markets
Manchester Christmas Markets

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse on the trains in and out of Manchester train operators have announced they are to close a popular station on the Wigan to Piccadilly line.

Deansgate station will be shut every Friday and Saturday evening from 6pm between now and Christmas - because too many people are using it.

Commuters from Wigan and people visiting using the hourly service to the city centre will be affected by the closures and are being advised to use nearby stations such as Oxford Road.

Northern, part of the Arriva group, said the changes had been forced on them because of the number of people who visit the hugely popular Christmas markets across the city.

Outraged passengers have taken to social media to comment on the restriction, which will affect commuters and shoppers alike.

One angry passenger wrote: “So on top of the ‘improvement’ works taking place, Deansgate station is going to be closed.

“I love the fact they advertise it’s going to affect the Christmas markets but what about the commuters who will be wanting to get home from work.”

But despite the criticism, Northern has stuck to its guns saying that the decision to close the station is in the interests of passenger safety.

A company spokesperson said: “We never take the decision to close stations lightly and always seek to put our customers’ needs first.

“This includes providing effective crowd management to help customers get where they need to be. The temporary closure of Deansgate does just that.

“The layout of Deansgate station can make crowd control extremely difficult, whereas Oxford Road – which is less than half a mile away – is much better equipped and more effective at helping get large numbers of customers onto our trains.”