MEP slams Northern rail chaos

Commenting on the ongoing Network Rail fiasco affecting trains across the North West, North West Member of European Parliament Wajid Khan said:

“The responsibility for this chaos lies with both Northern Rail and, ultimately, with the Conservative government.

“The government should have deferred the introduction of the new timetables when it became clear they were unworkable. And, bluntly, when they have grossly under-funded the north’s rail networks year after year, allowed Network Rail to fall so far behind schedule on engineering work, and then given inadequate time to plan the new timetables, the buck stops with them when the trains grind to a halt.

“My constituents have been unable to get to work, get home, get to meetings. It has turned people’s lives upside down. Blanket cancellations in Cumbria mean the Lake District is facing a genuine local economic crisis at the start of its tourism season. Compensation for passengers is the least Northern can do, but I don’t think the government is really appreciating the scale of the economic damage this is wreaking.

“If the company’s franchise isn’t seriously reconsidered after this, it begs the question of just how appalling rail operators need to be before this Conservative government takes action.”