Plans in place to re­place North­ern says Boris

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

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.

The lon­gawaited

Wil­liams Rail

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.

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