Journey was snapshot of rail problem
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.