Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) say it is unlikely Diggle Station will be re-opened in the near future
Earlier this year, borough councilor, Garth Harkness organized a petition in support of re-opening the railway station in Diggle. This petition was submitted to TfGM in June 2012.
The following is their response:
Dear Councillor Harkness
Petition in respect of a railway station at Diggle
Many thanks for your petition, received in April, in support the reopening of (i) Diggle station, alongside (ii) the two disused Standedge Tunnels, as part of the Northern Hub investment plan.
TfGM supports the development of new stations where a positive business case can be developed. This is typically likely to be dependent on two factors: (i) sufficient demand in the local area to generate the necessary revenue to make a station viable; and (ii) adequate capacity on the network to allow services to serve the station at a frequency which would make the service attractive.
The potential for a new station at Diggle has previously been reviewed in 2001 and 2005. Both studies concluded that, set against the capital and on-going operational costs, the financial case for a new station was found to be poor.
In light of your petition, TfGM carried out further indicative analysis based on current data in order to understand whether there would be benefit in carrying out further work. This work concluded that there is unlikely to be a case for a station at Diggle, and that there is a week case for carrying out further formal appraisal.
From previous studies, it is estimated that 76% of passenger demand at Diggle would be abstracted from Greenfield station due to the overlapping catchment areas.Therefore it has been concluded that the best way to improve accessibility in the Saddleworth area would be to improve the attractiveness of Greenfield station.
In regards to the re-opening of the Standedge Tunnels, the 2010 Network Rail Hub study did examine the re-opening of the tunnels. However, the announcement of the electrification of the route, has led to review of the requirements between Manchester and Leeds, and this work is still ongoing.
TfGM is grateful for your contribution in raising this matter, and will keep the case on review.