Commuters tell tales of rail woe after minister says he’s ‘sorry’
PASSENGERS have been sharing stories of their nightmare commutes after Transport Secretary Chris Grayling apologised for this summer’s railway chaos.
Mr Grayling appeared on BBC One’s Inside Out during a special programme looking at transport in the north of England.
The minister said sorry for the problems caused by months of timetable changes, cancellations and overcrowding on Northern and TransPennine services. Mr Grayling told presenters: “I’m really sorry for the disruption we’ve had - it’s been a huge frustration to me because this was the introduction of a major new investment that didn’t work out at the start. I feel deeply sorry for the passengers affected.
“I’m sorry passengers were affected but I’m not sorry that we are putting money in to sort out both the problems this summer but more particularly the long term problems of the railways in the north.”
Following the apology, scores of angry rail passengers vented their frustrations on Twitter.
Andrea Waterhouse wrote: “Chris Grayling is so very out of touch if he believes that the situation has stabilised, it is still chaos and we are struggling to get answers.”
Victoria Stone posted: “I travel Blackrod to Manchester and we’ve had no trains since July 2017 on a weekend. My daily commute is simply a nightmare.”
@madzip tweeted: “With the trains being a ●●Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on BBC One’s Inside Out programme on Monday, where he apologised for the severe disruption on the region’s railways disaster getting into Manchester and the new road works it is almost impossible to get in or out of Manchester, I am in tears again today and on the verge of quitting my job because I just can’t get into work.”
Sarah Goldthorpe posted: “It’s a national scandal that the north has for decades lost out to the south in term of electrification and investment.”
Laura S said: “Northern rail is a nightmare. Never enough carriages, people packed on like cattle at peak time. Replacement bus that leaves Manchester at 11.30pm back to Bolton and that’s the last one that’s why people don’t have nights out in Mcr.”
The show, which was broadcast live from the National Railway Museum in York, also saw Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry clash over the problems.
Mr Burnham said: “We have another terrible day on the trains with people unable to get into work.
“We’ve had four months of chaos now and it just goes on and on. We need a solution from Mr Grayling.
“He needs to work with Transport for the North to find a solution.
“I would say that is to bring in a trouble shooter who can bang heads together and get services back on track.
“We cannot carry on in this position.”