Northern Rail out on its ear
SHAPPS IN PLEDGE TO TRAVELLERS
UNDER fire train operator Northern will have its contract ripped up, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has vowed.
After years of shocking delays and timetable cock-ups, passengers will “not have to wait long” before action is taken, he declared.
The company’s contract was due to run until March 2025.
Only 56% of Northern trains arrived at stations within one minute of the timetable in the 12 months to
December 7, Office of Rail and Road figures revealed. That is compared with the 65% average across Britain.
The introduction of new timetables in May 2018 sparked travel mayhem.
When asked if Northern should be stripped of its franchise, Mr Shapps said: “The simple answer is yes, it is going to be brought to an end. It’s partially a legal process but commuters will not have to wait long.”
Department for Transport officials did say Northern could continue to operate on a short-term contract.
IT’S just wrong. Millions of rail passengers have once again been stung by the annual fare price hikes. The 2.7% average rise follows another horrendous 12 months of crippling delays, cancellations and strikes. It’s the same shameful story every year. The service gets worse – yet fed-up commuters are forced to fork out more and more. How can that be fair? If there is any justice, clobbered passengers should be getting compensation. Let’s be clear – our railways would shame any advanced nation. Other countries manage to get their trains to run on time. The French and German services are clean, reliable and fairly priced. You can even get a seat. And in Japan they are so efficient that rail firms have been forced to apologise for trains leaving too early. No chance of that happening here, though. At some stations nearly half of all trains are late. The misery will continue until the Government sorts out this mess.
If that means state ownership, then so be it.
IT’S OVER: Shapps’ rail vow