Jour­ney was snapshot of rail prob­lem

Rochdale Observer - - NOSTALGIA -

THE Con­ven­tion of the North was all about uni­fy­ing lead­ers from across the re­gion to dis­cuss the key is­sues of the day ‘with one voice’.

But the M.E.N. ini­tially strug­gled to get from one north­ern city to an­other in or­der to cover it. Ar­riv­ing at Manch­ester Vic­to­ria sta­tion to travel to the New­cas­tle event, our re­porter’s sched­uled Tran­sPen­nine Ex­press train was can­celled, so she had to wait for the next one. That was then delayed be­cause it was stuck be­hind an­other late-run­ning Tran­sPen­nine Manch­ester-Hull ser­vice.

The driver tried to over­take, he said, but the sig­nalling wasn’t work­ing. She was 30 min­utes late.

On the way back, she got stuck be­hind an­other slow train and was delayed again. It’s the kind of ex­pe­ri­ence many north­ern com­muters en­dure ev­ery day. So the jour­ney to New­cas­tle be­came a po­ten­tial show­case of why more pow­ers should be de­volved to the north so it can bring about a func­tional, ef­fi­cient in­te­grated trans­port net­work.

And at the Con­ven­tion, north­ern lead­ers were united in their quest to make that hap­pen.

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