MECX Press release

Calls for Northern to be Stripped of its Franchise

The Mayors of Greater Manchester, as well as the Liverpool City Region, have made it clear that they would like the Transport Secretary to strip Northern of its rail franchise sooner rather than later.

This would mean that the government would remove Northern from all local rail services that are in place around York and Selby. The company has rarely been out of the news all year which was a result of the timetable changes that caused a significant amount of problems throughout the area for passengers.

The timetable changes came into effect last May and since, the company has repeatedly failed to improve its performance and provide a service that passengers can rely on. So, the calls from the Mayors of Liverpool and Manchester are suggesting that the governments need to intervene and replace Northern as soon as possible.

The disruption was widespread and even affected the TransPennine express at Malton. However, Northern has responded, claiming that the problem was caused by delays in infrastructure projects, all of which were out of their control, although they claim that they are making improvements. New trains have been introduced onto a number of lines while the York to Hull serve is now running on an hourly schedule, which means that the areas of Ulleskelf and Sherburn are now benefiting from a regular service.

Despite this, the people of the North have had enough and no longer want to put up a with a second rate service. The Metro Mayors believe that the consistent failures prove that action has to be taken in order to save public confidence in the service as well as deliver the franchise requirements.

The RMT Union has welcomed the call for the services to be re-introduced back into the public sector and so, they will be looking to receive immediate assurances that jobs, working conditions and pensions will remain protected.

However, the government has still to respond on whether they will, in fact, strip Northern of the franchise. What is needed though, is for the service to be improved considerably so that passengers can rely on the rail network in the area when they need it.

Deborah Lillis

About Deborah Lillis

RoSPA Member
Network Rail
NPTC logo
iso 14001
RISQS 5 star
iso 9001
RISA
OHSAS 18001 Audit Passed!