Plans in place to replace Northern says Boris
BORIS Johnson has said the government was ‘developing contingency plans for a replacement’ for Northern.
His comments came in the Commons in response to a question from an MP.
Yvonne Fovargue, Labour MP for Makerfield, Wigan, asked the prime minister in the Commons: “Will the Prime Minister commit to stripping them of their franchise and will he also commit to devolving the power and the money to the regions so that local people have the power over their local transport and never have to suffer the appalling catalogue of delays, overcrowding cancellations and disruptions that have gone on far too long?”
Mr Johnson confirmed the government was looking at the entire issue of franchising and how the system works.
Review - which will look at the structure Boris Johnson of the whole rail industry and the way passenger rail services are delivered - is due to be published this year.
And Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, has already suggested Northern could be stripped of its franchise.
Mr Johnson said in response to Ms Fovargue’s question: “I share her outrage and I do understand what she is saying
“We are developing contingency plans for a replacement for Northern Rail.
“We are also looking at the whole way the franchising system operates.”
The operator has long faced criticism from passengers and public bodies over its performance.
In November, it emerged less than half of all Northern trains arrived at their destinations on time the month before.
Performance statistics published by Arriva-owned Northern covering a period from October 13 to November 9 - revealed that just 45.4 per cent of its services arrived at station stops within a minute of their scheduled arrival time.