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24.10.14

More than 50 MPs sign motion against rail cuts on Northern and TPE

More than 50 MPs have signed a motion against rail cuts on the Northern and TransPennine Express (TPE) franchises.

Early Day Motion 174 has raised concerns about the DfT’s consultation on the future for the two franchises and is “dismayed” that the proposals will, it says, result in fare rises, service and timetable cuts and the loss of hundreds of “essential” rail jobs.

Signed predominantly by Labour MPs in the north, the motion calls on the government and local authorities, including those that constitute Rail North, to stop the cuts and “protect the interests of passengers and the communities who rely on these rail services”.

Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale and president of the Liberal Democrats, has also signed the motion, as has Lib Dem MP for Cheadle Mark Hunter.

Rail union RMT is gearing up to lobby parliament on the issue on 4 November, the organisation’s general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT is delighted that we now have more than 50 MPs on board with our campaign to stop the attacks outlined in the government and Rail North proposals for rail services that serve millions of people coast to coast, right across the north.”

He added that the fight to stop the “outrageous carve up of jobs and services” under the Northern and TPE franchise plans is gathering pace.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

(Image credit: Alvey & Towers)

Comments

John   24/10/2014 at 15:10

Take the Franchise away from the current holder without compensation and put it out to tender. They will soon change their minds!!

Gb   24/10/2014 at 17:25

Scrap HS2 and release the money to enhance and develop existing rail services in the North - and elsewhere!

Dave   24/10/2014 at 19:17

John - as i read the article, this is about the next franchise. How will stripping the franchises from the incumbents help? Surely that will necessitate the current half baked thinking being enshrined in the franchise invitation. The current Northern franchisee has done a pretty good job considering the remit was to manage the decline of railways a comfortable distance away from the chattering classes of the south east.

Mikeyb   26/10/2014 at 15:12

Dave - you are totally correct. The Northern franchise was let to Serco-Abellio with a "no growth" remit and on the understanding that no new trains would be ordered. In the circumstances, they have done reasonably well with Pacers and Sprinters now approaching 30 years-old. Even the "new" (i.e. cascaded) Class 319s now being delivered are somewhat older than the EMUs already running in South Manchester and West Yorkshire. Whether a future Northern franchise will ever get new trains - straight off the assembly line - remains to be seen but my suspicions are that it will remain a "dumping ground" for cast-offs from other parts of the country.

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