Rail fail­ures un­der new timetable to be scru­ti­nised

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

AN IN­DE­PEN­DENT in­quiry will be car­ried out in to wide­spread fail­ures on North­ern Rail since the in­tro­duc­tion of its new timetable.

Trav­ellers have been left un­able to travel as a re­sult of huge num­bers of can­cel­la­tion, par­tic­u­larly at peak times, since the new ser­vices came into ef­fect on Sun­day, May 20.

Ma­jor prob­lems have been ex­pe­ri­enced around the re­gion as a re­sult of driver short­ages since the changes, de­scribed as the “big­gest in decades”.

Dis­rup­tion was height­ened by strike ac­tion by rail guards on Thurs­day, May 24 and Satur­day, May 26.

Now North­ern and Net­work Rail and North­ern have an­nounced that they will be com­mis­sion­ing an in­de­pen­dent re­port and rec­om­men­da­tions into “the prepa­ra­tions and pro­cesses lead­ing up to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the re­cent timetable change”. They also said that cus­tomer groups, trans­port and North­ern stake­hold­ers will be in­vited to con­trib­ute to the re­port.

Martin Fro­bisher, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor for Net­work Rail’s Lon­don North Western route. apol­o­gised to rail users for the prob­lems they’d ex­pe­ri­enced and said it was work­ing hard with North­ern to avoid any re­peat.

David Brown, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of North­ern, said: “We are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to min­imise can­cel­la­tions and de­lays and keep our cus­tomers in­formed. It has been dif­fi­cult for many of our cus­tomers and I am truly sorry for this.

“There is ur­gent work to do to fully un­der­stand what did and didn’t work on all as­pects of plan­ning and de­liv­ery of the new timetable.

“We are com­mit­ted to work­ing with Net­work Rail and North­ern stake­hold­ers to de­liver the ser­vices our cus­tomers ex­pect and de­serve.”

North­ern Rail: MD David Brown, inset, is sorry

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