A campaigning newspaper is celebrating victory after the Prime Minister pledged to boost the number of seats on packed commuter trains.
The Bolton News has been battling since December for extra carriages — and now Number 10 has confirmed that more will be installed on morning commuter trains before the end of the year.
Writing exclusively for the newspaper, Mr Cameron says he recognises that the current service is “far too crowded for people trying to get to work in the morning”, and that the government had to act.
It comes four weeks after the Bolton News presented a petition to Number 10 Downing Street with 1,400 signatures calling on the government to respond.
Bolton’s three MPs presented the petition in Parliament demanding an end to overcrowding.
Over the past four months the paper has printed hundreds of commuters’ horror stories about their commute and called on rail bosses to take action.
Bolton News editor Ian Savage said: “We are delighted that the prime minister has taken a personal interest in this newspaper’s campaign and listened to the concerns of Bolton’s long-suffering train commuters.
“The addition of extra seats on our peak time trains to Manchester is long overdue.
“This victory is thanks to all our readers and I am also grateful to the backing of our three MPs, who helped us take our campaign all the way to Downing Street when we handed in our petition.
“When David Cameron visited our offices last year, he promised he would look at the situation and it is excellent that he has taken such a keen interest in the campaign.
“This is exactly what good, campaigning journalism is all about. We stand up for our readers on the issues that matter, and we are delighted that it looks like there will be positive progress.
“We will be keeping a close eye on our early morning train services at the end of the year to ensure that the promise of more seats is delivered.”
Mr Cameron wrote that having listened to views in Bolton “we’re making sure that before the end of the year we will lengthen trains where it’s possible — which means 200 extra seats on those key morning commuter trains.
“We can do it because in December the first electric trains will start running on the line between Manchester and Liverpool, freeing up spare carriages for routes like Bolton.
“And of course that’s just the start with work on course to make the Bolton line fully electric by 2016. This will be good for jobs, good for businesses and good for Bolton.”