Students and commuters have been hit by the sudden removal of two peak-time rail services between Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

Many students come to Huddersfield’s Greenhead College from Dewsbury and timetable changes mean passengers are left high and dry at peak times on weekdays.

Now Kirklees Council’s Cabinet member for transport, Clr Eric Firth, has written to TransPennine Express demanding the services be reinstated.

The council says two popular services were axed without consultation or advanced warning when new timetables were introduced on December 11.

Calling the decision “this year’s most unwanted Christmas present”, Clr Firth said: “The loss of these services will have a major impact on anyone using this service for their daily commute.

“The impact will be felt keenly by students who attend Greenhead College, many of whom travel from Dewsbury to the college on a daily basis.

“There is now a gap in the timetable for them to return from Huddersfield to Dewsbury between 15.49 and 16.46 and then 17.50 until 18.46 on weekdays.

“TransPennine Express’s priority should be rebuilding its relationship with customers, not compounding their misery. These cuts to peak services will leave students and commuters between Huddersfield and Dewsbury stranded at key points of the day.

“Our young people have faced enough disruption to their education over the past few years for unavoidable reasons. This latest issue is, however, entirely avoidable.

“In December 2021, TransPennine Express consulted on the new timetable with the West Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority. At that time, these timetable changes were not included as part of the plans so Kirklees Council, along with the other West Yorkshire authorities, have not been given the opportunity to oppose the changes before they happened.

“I have asked TransPennine Express to reinstate these vital services and invited them to meet with me to talk to those directly impacted about the issues. I have also raised the issue with Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire.

“Kirklees Council has been a vocal supporter of the TransPennine Route Upgrade and are playing a vital part in facilitating the work. This is because of the potential we see in the project to improve economic links with Kirklees and other important centres. It is not acceptable for the people of Kirklees not to have the full benefit of the rail improvements.”

The council is working with Greenhead College to address the issue and college principal Simon Lett said: “We are extremely concerned to learn of these timetable changes.

“Good transport links into and out of Huddersfield go hand-in-hand with social mobility. The changes will massively impact on students’ ability to obtain qualifications which are vital to their future life chances.”