TRAIN operator Northern has confirmed cuts to services will come into force on Sunday despite cross party opposition from politicians.

A new timetable comes into effect on May 15 meaning services from Bradford Forster Square to Shipley, Ilkley and Skipton will be reduced to one per hour and some services are affected between Halifax, Bradford Interchange, Leeds and Hull.

Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore and West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin have both voiced strong opposition to the cuts.

Northern maintains the new schedules are designed to deliver better reliability and punctuality for customers.

Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern said: “We’ve made decisions about our timetables based on the levels of resource we have available and prioritising the routes with the highest customer demand, and which support the region’s economic growth.”

She added: “We fully understand the role we play in keeping people on the move and I am asking our customers to familiarise themselves with the new timetables ahead of the changes this Sunday, and to check carefully before any journeys to ensure their journeys go as smoothly as possible.”

Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore said: "By this confirmation of cuts to services, Northern have ignored the clear views of local people. They have failed to consider the impact this will have on local businesses and schools, in particular the students who rely on these services every day. The Airedale and Wharfedale lines are essential in helping people who need to get to school in Ilkley, Bradford and Skipton, and we should be looking to expand their services, not put them back.

"Last week, I met with the leadership team at Northern, where I once again made the case for why they must put trains back on to match school timetabling. As a result, Northern have agreed to implement a bus replacement service for students travelling from and to Ilkley, and will look at a revised timetable from September. However, this is still not enough, and urgent action is still needed to ensure all who rely on these services are not disrupted.”

Homera Najib, bursar at Bradford Grammar School added: "We have been in discussions with Northern about this and the suspension of the 16.20 train is going ahead. Northern have given us strong assurances that this is a temporary measure and that the train will return in September. In the interim period, Northern will be running a rail replacement bus service from the station to cover this particular train route."