By ANISAH ARIF
Bradford South MP Judith Cummins demanded northern transport be properly funded as a “damning” report was released into the summer timetabling fiasco.
Rail punctuality in the North of England is now even worse than the during the immediate aftermath of May timetable rollout fiasco – with almost 80 trains per day being cancelled by the region’s two biggest operators.
The scathing report by the Transport Select Committee said the change to the schedules in May, which led to the cancellation or severe disruption of thousands of train services in the ensuing weeks, should be the catalyst for reform, including automatic compensation schemes.
Northern cancelled up to 310 trains a day, leaving passengers stranded and out of pocket, stations and trains overcrowded and local economies suffering.
But currently, more than 20 northern trains per day are operating fewer carriages than normal, something they say which is due to “autumn conditions, the stretch on rolling stock resources and fleet reliability issues”.
Between October 26 and November 22, Northern has only 70 per cent of trains running on time- the same percentage as the first fortnight after the May timetable rollout.
Judith said: “This report makes for damning reading. The Transport Secretary failed to avert a crisis which brought misery to so many people across the north.
“The railway system is fragmented and complex, but the Transport Secretary had the power intervene – instead he sat back and allowed chaos to ensue.
“I agree with the report that waiting a year for a review to take place is too long. We need concrete action much sooner.
“The summer should be seen as an absolute low point for rail passengers in the north – now is the time to properly invest in our region’s infrastructure and deliver a transport system that properly serves the needs of the northern economy. With yet more ticket price rises in the new year, it is the least passengers deserve.”