Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has reacted with anger to news that new emergency timetables introduced by Northern Rail have resulted in some services being cancelled, with other services scrapped all together.
From this morning (4 June), Northern Rail have introduced an “amended service” which removes a staggering 165 services each day, this amounts to 6% of all services – 165 out of 2,800 daily – which Northern Rail bosses have confirmed would be in place until the end of July. By noon on Monday morning (4 June), 70 trains had been fully cancelled and 69 services partially cancelled, according to the Northern Rail app, with thousands of passengers reporting lengthy delays and missed work days.
This follows a steep drop in overall train services across the region. On April 1 this year, 94.5 % of Northern trains which ran services around the North of England ran to time, just two months later, only 57.5% of trains did. Many independent rail experts point to the huge disparity in investment from the Government between the regions of the UK as a key driver of the disruption.
Northern parts of England have not benefited from the massive amounts of money poured into the Crossrail projects, added to this, average investment per person of £1,600 in the North of England is 2.6 times less than those in London, and the gap has been widening for years leading to a system close to collapse.
Since the botched introduction of new rail timetables several weeks ago more than 12,000 train journeys have been disrupted with pressure mounting on the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling. Members of Parliament from across the region had rightly demanded a meeting with Mr. Grayling to discuss the disruption to their constituents. However it would seem the Transport Secretary may be too busy to see all MPs as this morning (4 June) he sent out his Parliamentary Private Secretary, Tory MP James Heappey, to explain to irate colleagues that there are far too many angry MPs to meet them each individually.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“This fiasco is now beyond a parody. My constituents, people across Greater Manchester and all over the North deserve a proper, modern and fully-functioning rail system. People in London and the south wouldn’t put up with this, and neither should those of us in the north.
“The only cancellation now acceptable is Northern from their franchise.”