Daisy Hill railway station

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Daisy Hill National Rail
Daisy Hill station - down side - geograph.org.uk - 823702.jpg
Location
Place Westhoughton
Local authority Bolton
Coordinates 53°32′22″N 2°30′55″W / 53.5394°N 2.5153°W / 53.5394; -2.5153Coordinates: 53°32′22″N 2°30′55″W / 53.5394°N 2.5153°W / 53.5394; -2.5153
Grid reference SD659048
Operations
Station code DSY
Managed by Northern Rail
Number of platforms 2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  106,257
2005/06 Increase 115,920
2006/07 Decrease 113,178
2007/08 Increase 115,652
2008/09 Increase 210,262
2009/10 Increase 216,216
2010/11 Increase 241,480
2011/12 Increase 259,482
2012/13 Increase 279,782
2013/14 Increase 280,194
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Greater Manchester
History
Original company Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Pre-grouping Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
1 October 1888 (1888-10-01) Station opened
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Daisy Hill from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Daisy Hill railway station serves the Daisy Hill area of Westhoughton, in the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, Greater Manchester, England.

Daisy Hill is one of the principal stations that lie on the Atherton line, between Wigan and Manchester. The station is located 14 miles (23 km) west of Manchester Victoria with regular Northern Rail services to these towns as well as Salford, Swinton and Hindley, with onward trains to Kirkby and Southport.

Due to considerable housing development in the area, it is now a well-used commuter station and (according to official Strategic Rail Authority figures) has in the past vied (with Atherton and Walkden) for the position of the most used station on the line. In the period 2004 to 2012 passenger usage has more than doubled. The slight drop in usage in 2006-07 may be due to statistical correction rather than genuine decline.[1] A substantial increase in usage (2008–09, see SRA figures right) was reported. Part of this was explained in the SRA notes as an attempt more accurately to include local (transport executive) tickets.

An interesting aspect of Daisy Hill railway station is that, even when in the 1970s the service was sporadic,[2] the railway station was fully staffed. This continued until recent times. Until 2008, Daisy Hill railway station (unlike the then more frequently used next railway station of Hindley and the railway stations of many other major towns and even cities in Britain) was continuously staffed from before the first train to after the last – just over 18 hours. Since 2008, however, the railway station ticket office has closed at 7.25pm (having opened at 6.25am).[3] This is still a longer period of staffing than many other stations in the United Kingdom. The town's other station (Westhoughton railway station) which, until recently enjoyed an even greater patronage, has been unstaffed since 1974.

History[edit]

The railway station opened on 1 October 1888.[4]

On 21 November 1965 the two "fast lines" (which, unlike Hindley and Atherton, never had platforms) were taken out of use. These tracks were removed in early 1966, leaving only the lines adjacent to the central island platform.

In 1974 Daisy Hill railway station was to some extent modernised. The old British Rail London Midland maroon signage was replaced, the platform canopy removed, the platform toilets and waiting room demolished (to be replaced by a "bus shelter") and the gas lighting replaced with modern electric lighting. The roadside building and ticket office, however, remained relatively untouched.

Location and facilities[edit]

The station is staffed. Information screens in the booking hall show real-time departure information from both platforms, with electronic displays on the platforms themselves that show the next and following train information and estimated arrival time. This is accompanied by automated announcements using the familiar female voice (same voice as heard in Manchester Piccadilly, Oxford Road, etc.) heard via speakers located both on the platform and in the booking hall.

Bus-stops that provide connections to much of Westhoughton are just outside the station. Daisy Hill village, with its few shops, church and cricket ground is five minutes by foot (turn left outside the station). Westhoughton town centre is fifteen minutes (leisurely) walk from the station (turn right) or three or four minutes by bus (service 540 - crossing the road as one leaves the station). There is no taxi rank, although a pay phone is found in the booking hall with taxi numbers and other local information. There are no toilet or refreshment facilities. There is a new (2008) car park with 77 places (to the right of the station as one leaves).

Daisy Hill railway station
1911 Map showing the station's location (top right)

The station's island platform remains totally inaccessible (even with assistance) to wheelchair users.[3]

Future[edit]

As yet unspecified development is planned for the station.[5]

Service[edit]

For many years Daisy Hill enjoyed what was virtually a peak only service (although those peak hour trains were well used): the 1973 British Rail timetable (table 95) shows a gap between 9.45am and 3.45pm for trains to Manchester Victoria. Since then the service has dramatically improved. First hourly and then half-hourly services were introduced.

The typical off-peak service is of two trains per hour to Manchester Victoria (with hourly extensions to Stalybridge), one to Kirkby and one to Southport. There are a few extra services on Mondays to Fridays during the peak hours. In the evening there is only one train an hour in each direction. For many years (since 1966/7) there had been no trains serving Daisy Hill on Sundays. Northern Rail had aspirations to provide a Sunday service for the line for some years; and after a successful campaign GMPTE provided funds. Sunday trains ran from May 2010 (and continue to do so in the current 2014 timetable).[6][7]

For a number of years (in the early 2000s), there was (in the summer months), also one direct train each way to Blackpool North (via Wigan North Western); this service has been discontinued.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Hindley   Northern Rail
Manchester-Kirkby or
Manchester-Southport Line
  Atherton or
Hag Fold