MPs’ anger over rail ‘crisis’

Rail operator Northern has said sorry for the delays
Rail operator Northern has said sorry for the delays

Rail union RMT has welcomed a cross party motion tabled by MPs calling for an inquiry into the “crisis” on Northern Rail services.

It also calls for consideration to be given to Arriva being stripped of the franchise and the network returned to public ownership.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash

RMT general secretary Mick Cash

The call came after Northern passengers suffered weeks of cancellations on a number of routes.

Northern has apologised for the delays and promised that services will improve in the coming weeks.

The MPs’ Early Day Motion warns that “the problems which franchising has brought to Southern Rail services – including shortage of staff, over-reliance on rest day working and overtime, shortage of trained drivers and poor management planning resulting in frequent cancellations – are now also being replicated on Northern Rail services.”

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The crisis in Northern Rail has the exact same causes as that which infected Southern services.

“Namely greedy private train bosses trying run the railway at minimum costs and not caring about the consequences for passengers.

“They know that the government will prop them up come up what may.

“The MPs are also right to highlight the fact that Northern’ s plans for driver only trains exacerbate these problems and we fully support their call for an inquiry into the crisis in Northern services”

The Early Day Motion has been supported by 13 MPs.

They include Preston-born Westmorland MP Tim Farron and Wigan’s Lisa Nandy.

Northern apologised and said : “The root cause of the delays and cancellations we are facing on some lines is the major engineering work to electrify the Blackpool line, which overran and was not handed back in time for us to train our 400-plus drivers who operate the routes around Blackpool.”