SCHOOLGIRLS are struggling with exhaustion because they have to get up too early to catch a train, say mums.

Pupils travelling from Knutsford arrive at Altrincham an hour before classes start because an earlier service was cancelled during the pandemic.

Mum Amy Hayes has now launched a campaign to get the 8.04am Northern Rail train service reinstated.

She will be handing out flyers on the platform urging commuters to support her appeal.

Her 11-year-old daughter Alice and friends, all former pupils at St Vincent's Catholic Primary School, have to get up at the crack of dawn to catch a train to get to Loreto Grammar on time.

"She is absolutely exhausted," said Amy, of Hayton Street. "It is wholly unrealistic and unacceptable that the only train from Knutsford to Altrincham that she can get is at 7.33.

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"She arrives at 7.50am and is at school by 8am.

"I don't think I'm being dramatic but we are worried about the impact this could have on their school work and how they feel.

"We are also worried about the girls wandering off on their way to school to pass a bit of time. It all adds to the anxiety we feel as parents.

"It is such a big thing going to secondary school. At that young age, they need all the help they can get.

"An extra half hour in bed is massively valuable."

Pupils attending other schools including St Ambrose also use this train.

"We have just paid £311 for an annual rail pass," said Amy. "It is unacceptable that we are left with children who are exhausted by the end of the school week because they have had to get up so early.

"I have also seen children arriving into Knutsford at 7.33am from surrounding villages. It's absolutely crazy, quite upsetting and just not acceptable."

The girls felt so tired, parents have been taking it in turns to ferry the children to school in cars.

Families are also concerned about the safety of pupils travelling on a train with only two carriages.

"My daughter and others had to squeeze in and stand for the whole journey," said Amy. "This will definitely not encourage others to travel or help with Covid infection rates.

"Passengers more than ever need to feel safe, secure and comfortable going back on the trains.

"I don't think we are asking for the world, just a basic service at the right time."

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “The Mid Cheshire Line serves a wide variety of schools and businesses between Chester and Manchester and we have carefully planned our current hourly timetable – which is still affected by the ongoing impact of coronavirus – to try to accommodate the needs of as many customers as possible.


“Sadly, this means a minority of rail users may not have a rail service at a time that is ideal for them and we welcome all comments and suggestions as we work to develop future timetables.


“We fully understand the concerns of those using our trains on the Mid Cheshire Line and we are doing all we can to provide the best possible service for our customers who are very much at the heart of everything we do.”