Davenport Railway Station

Home | News Archive for 2021

Archives for 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018  2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2005-2007

Christmas period train services and cuts

As usual, rail services will close down in the evening of 24 December until 27 December.  The last train on our line on the 24th are at 21:31 towards Manchester and the 21:24 departure from Manchester Piccadilly (providing there are no more tragic 'incidents').

From 4 January, there will be reductions in service on a number of lines including ours. The Hazel Grove - Blackpool will run as normal, but the Buxton service is reduced to a basic hourly service, without peak extras. The last weekday train from Manchester will be 22:10.  On Sundays there will be no trains at all on our lines for at least four weeks, with bus replacements available, the long-standing issue with staff unions regarding 'rest-day working' rolls on.
24 December 2021

New Winter timetable

There is a general timetable change to the 'winter' times across the rail system starting on 12 December. There's no obvious change in the Buxton line times, however. An innovation on Northern's website is an 'A4-friendly' version of the pocket timetable which you can print on your printer, ideally one which can print both sides. The one for our line occupies both sides of two landscape pages, and it's possible to make it into a handy concertina size by folding the sheets into three and taking them together between pages 6 and 7. This is the link to the Download page.
13 December 2021.

Shopping news

2021 has proved to be a year of change to the shopping offer on Bramhall Lane. The butcher's has changed hands to a form called 'Caldwells' (what happed to the iconic chopping butcher figure in the window?), 203 The Lane is now Chinese 203,  the school uniform shop is now selling e-Cigs, and right at the end of the year we see the old Bank occupied by a discount store (ignoring the agreed plans on the Stockport Planning website).

The SunSpot tanning parlour is apparently about to become a Pizza takeaway place called 'Le Pizze Vere'. Again, there is no sign of any planning application, needed both for the change of facia or also the change of use. The whole row is a Conservation Area, but maybe the website has not been updated? And shouldn't sign-makers know how to spell?

24 December 2021

2022 Timetable Changes - details published

We have now received a draft version of the Northern's timetable starting from December 2022 (yes, 2022).  You can download a copy of the Buxton line table here.

The aim of the changes is to reduce the congestion in the Manchester area caused by the timetable in force after the opening of the 'Ordsall Chord' line.  Our response to this has to be somewhat mixed. In brief:
The weekday service between Davenport to Manchester will be two trains per hour with two peak time extras morning and evening (slightly disappointing) ... 

 ....with 30-minute even intervals between trains through the day both to and from Manchester (good).

All Northern trains will serve Davenport and Woodsmoor, none will pass through without stopping as some do now (good).

Service to/from Buxton will be half-hourly around peak times, at other times alternate trains will be Manchester - Hazel Grove only (good in some respects).

Sunday service remains hourly (Very disappointing).

There will no longer be through services beyond Manchester Piccadilly to Oxford Road, Deansgate, Salford Crescent and towards Blackpool (Very unsatisfactory.)

There will be no through trains from the Crewe and Macclesfield lines, either. In earlier versions there would have been a couple of trains between Hazel Grove and Wigan in the peak, but even these are now  scrapped.  We are not told what rolling stock will be used: it would be a shame if we lost our new electric trains in favour of old diesels.

The full documents with timetables for all lines and information on how to give feedback can be downloaded here. We at Friends of Davenport Station would welcome your comments, especially about the loss of through services. Write to info@davenportstation.org.uk

16 November 2021

Maintenance matters

Some time ago we asked Northern if something could be done to make the path to the car park safer in the  dark, when the steps are hard to see. The edges have now been re-painted yellow, which should help matters, especially after the clocks go back, although we will continue to press for a better solution.

Still a live problem is excessive vegetation growth (not to mention general junk) which has been allowed behind the platforms, especially the Japanese Knotweed behind the Buxton-bound side. An 'annual spraying' has been done recently,  but we are not confident; these matters are really beyond the ability of 'Community Rail' volunteers, and of course the 'lockdown' has not helped.

 16 September 2021.

Station gallery news

The current display in the station waiting toom (open Mon-Sat mornings) is an art project based on the four seasons, by 1st Davenport Rainbows. Rainbows are a group of the Girlguiding organisation for girls aged five to seven. New members are welcome: see the guiding website for details.

Other community groups interested in displaying in our four A3 frames, please contact Friends of Davenport Station at info@davenportstation.org.uk.

2 August 2021

Deansgate Quirk

Our hourly Hazel Grove to Blackpool service calls at Deansgate station, a useful  link to the Deansgate area of the city. It also has access over a footbridge to Metrolink's Deansgate-Castlefield stop, which has services which do not pass through Piccadilly station, -  the Airport line and South Manchester line to Chorlton and Didsbury.  However, be aware that trains towards Hazel Grove do not stop at Deansgate, except for three in the evening peak.  This is to avoid congestion of that part of the line, it in our opinion.

It does appear that the money spent on the 'Ordsall Chord' line - mainly for the benfit of Airpost passengers, may not have been the best use for railway funds.

The  December 2022 timetable

Some may recall the 'Task Force' consultation earlier this year regarding possible timetable changes to avoid the chaos created by the unworkable 2018 version.  This document and, our article on this, and our response, are still available via the links at the bottom of this page.

Three options, A B and C were on offer. The 'Transport for the North' organisation has now presented their choice, in the form of a 'B-plus version'.  Unfortunately this includes the feature of option B  that we objected to at the time: loss of direct connection with stations beyond Piccadilly, losing the connection with Metrolink at Deansgate, and abandoning the electrification of the Stockport to Hazel Grove line in favour of a half-hourly all-diesel service between Piccadilly and Buxton (also depriving us of comfortable modern trains.)  The proposal results stations in Stockport including Cheadle Hulme and Heaton Chapel losing a through connection as well as the Hazel Grove branch, as the Alderley Edge - Southport service is severed.  Yet this was a justification for the building of the 'Windsor Link' from Deansgate to Salford Crescent in the 1980s;  the creation of the new 'Ordsall Chord' seems to have proved very disruptive.

The only exception is the East Midlands Nottingham - Liverpool service which calls at Stockport, Piccadilly and Oxford Road.

The proposal diverts both Blackpool - Manchester trains to the Airport, at present they alternate between the Airport and Hazel Grove.

Above is an extract from the full report which can be downloaded at this link. The comparison tables are a a little misleading, as until October 2019 the Hazel Grove - Blackpool service ran in addition to a half-hourly Buxton service.

Of course stations to Buxton would gain benefit from a half-hourly service, and certainly an extra train in the peak periods, suitable for school students and Stelling Hill Hospital passengers, should be provided, but losing an important link across Greater Manchester, serving four Universities, and providing other useful connections, is surely of equal importance.

Comments on this are very welcome: info@davenportstation.org.uk

20 July 2021

'Flexi' Season Tickets

Led by the Department of Transport, rail companies have introduced a type 'season ticket' designed for people who travel to work on only some days of the week. The idea is that you load on to your Northern Smartcard (available free from the ticket office) or smart phone a a batch of 8 day return tickets for your chosen route, which can be used on any day of your choice within 28 days. of the first use.

This is why card-readers have been installed at the station: you'll need to 'tap in' and 'tap out' with a flexi ticket. At present this does not apply to any other kind of ticket, or the Concession pass, although possibly that may change.

A good idea, but there are a number of complications, some of them caused by the fact that traditional season tickets are issued for a calendar month - to match people's salary payments presumably -  rather than 28 Days.

The railway companies have created a 'calculator' web page  which you can use to work out the advantages of otherwise, but even that has a caveat:
' If you are travelling 3 days per week, you will need more than one Flexi Season Ticket in a month. Flexi Season Tickets are valid for up to 28 days so any days travel unused can be used in the following calendar month. This is not reflected in the Calculator when a 3 day per week work pattern is selected for an odd number of months (i.e. 1, 3, 5 etc). For a comparable Price per Day, please select an even (i.e. 2, 4, 6 etc) number of months.'
As an example, consider someone travelling three times per week from Davenport to Manchester, based on a two-month period as calculated by the magic calculator :

An ordinary day return ticket costs 6.70.

An ordinary Monthly season costs 93 which is 7.75 per journey if used just three times a week, and can of course be used every other day in the month).

The 28-day Flexi Season Ticket costs 46.90 which (according to the calculator) works out at 5.86 per journey if used three times per week.

If you travel four days per week, the flexi methods looks less attractive as an ordinary monthly is slightly cheaper If you travel one day per week, a flexi ticket will expire before you can finish using it. If some of your journeys are on Saturday or Sunday when off-peak tickets can be used, the equation changes again...

20 July 2021

Note for Concession Card users

If you paid the 10 annual fee imposed in those far-off days before lockdown,  to extend your travel to train travel within Greater Manchester, your card is still valid until 21 June 2021 without further payment.  You may find that the railway's IT systems have not been amended to cover this, and your card will not operate ticket gates or register on  the app used by 'revenue inspectors'.  This is not a problem, the staff are aware.
11 May 2021

The timetable changes

New timetables apply across the National Rail network from 17 May:  take care to check your train time in advance using the Northern website or app.  The principal change as far as our line is concerned is that late evening services are re-instated. You can return from Manchester Piccadilly at 22:10 and 23:24 Mondays to Fridays: an irritating feature, inherited from the pre-Covid days, is that there is also a train from Piccadilly to Buxton at 23:11, but it doesn't stop at Davenport or Woodsmoor. Why? Who knows. But: on Monday - Thursday 17 -20 May our last 'train' is a replacement bus at 23:11 due to engineering work.

On Saturdays there are departures from Piccadilly at 22:10 and 23:07 to Buxton and 23:17 to Hazel Grove, but the 23:17 does not stop at Davenport or Woodsmoor so your last train is earlier on Saturdays when people might want a later one. This really is hard to fathom. On Sundays the last train is at 22:48.

The morning service to Manchester is much the same as before:  and commuters to Davenport from the High Peak are still incovenienced by the train from Buxton which could call here about 08:20 but does not stop. There is a reason for this: the train has to stay out of the way of an East Midlands Railway train which calls at Hazel Grove four minutes behind, but really something should be done about this.  Even the great and good Mayor of Greater Manchester has failed to change things.

Bad news for countryside lovers is that Middlewood station, gateway to the marvellous Middlewood Way, which has been enjoying an hourly service on weekdays, reverts to the old regime with two-hour gaps in service.

11 May 2021


From 29 March the Government has lifted the 'stay at home' restriction, kids are back to school, and car traffic is more or less back to normal, but can we now make 'non-essential' public transport journeys? We have checked with Northern, who confirm that we can, subject to the usual rules on social distancing and compulsory mask-wearing on trains and stations. We'd recommend that you keep your journeys within the local area, but there's no definite rule about this.

The current 'temporary timetable' for Monday-Saturday is on this link.   Two points to note: service from Manchester finishes earlier in the day that usual (21:44 from Manchester Piccadilly) and all trains are now calling at Middlewood, offering a better service than normal for people wishing to enjoy a walk on the Middlewood Way.  Bear in mind that Davenport and Woodsmoor stations are busy at times with school students attending the schools in our area.

There's no timetable leaflet for Sundays: it appears that we have an hourly service between Manchester and Buxton, but Middlewood is only served two-hourly, despite Sunday being the day when more people might want to travel there.

Here's a list of engineering work planned for Easter.

31 March 2020.

Looking ahead

February 2021 and the 'lockdown' continues, although you might not believe it from the traffic on Bramhall Lane.  Friends Groups are again banned from working on the gardens, etc, and those of us without a car are banned from 'non-essential' use of public transport, but at least we are still here.

Meanwhile the Department of Transport and their associates have been musing over the congestion in the Manchester area created by the timetable implemented back in 2008 which increased the number of trains passing though Piccadilly station. A 'Task Force' has produced a document for 'open consultation', which can be downloaded from their site.

We have made a short summary covering how Davenport and Woodsmoor stations would be affected by the various options on offer.  This can be downloaded from our website.

We welcome any comments on our document or the subject in general: email them to info@davenportstation.org.uk

18 February 2021.