Minister steps up to the mark over station danger
Colne Valley Tory councillor Donna Bellamy (left) met rail minister Andrew Jones (right) and transport secretary Chris Grayling (centre) with Clr Martyn Bolt (second right) and Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Dewsbury, Mark Eastwood, at Westminster. Inset: The dangerous step cancellations, overcrowding and poor accessibility.
“There needs to be more recognition of the human cost of this chaos, which has put some people’s jobs at risk, and made managing family responsibilities incredibly difficult.
“I have spent many hours on train platforms in Slaithwaite and Marsden, talking to passengers and local rail campaigners, and have experienced the effects of the rail disruption myself. I have raised the concerns of constituents on several occasions with ministers and in the House. “I am hopeful that the concerns raised by myself, my fellow MPs and the rail user groups in today’s meeting with the Transport Secretary, will be taken forward and action will be seen in the coming weeks. I will be writing a letter with my colleagues to follow-up on the actions arising from the meeting.”
Mr Grayling, who has been heavily criticised for recent rail chaos following widespread timetable changes, recently appointed Richard George to oversee infrastructure and operations in the north.
Said Clr Bolt: “The Secretary of State accepted that rail services had not been good enough.
“Some of our problems have been around issues with engineering on the other side of Lancashire that have knocked on.
“Then there have been train companies not running with sufficient rolling stock.
“Richard George has been appointed to get to grips with all the delays and with the train operators.
“He didn’t fudge the issue. He said delays were unacceptable. It’s not what anybody wants let alone the government.
“In terms of Marsden there has been months of prevarication by others. This has been raised with the rail companies before and with Network Rail.
“We showed the minister a picture and he agreed it needed sorting.
“He didn’t put a timescale on it but we will be chasing him up on that.”