Latest Rail News

04.06.18

Disruption updates: Burnham calls for compensation, MPs write to Grayling

The former shadow health secretary has called for Northern Rail users to receive a temporary fare cut and a “substantial offer of compensation” if they were affected by the disrupted implementation of the new timetables last month.

The Greater Manchester mayor said that rail operator Northern has “left people seriously out of pocket” as a result of the series of delayed and cancelled lines, of which a further 165 services over the next two months will be scrapped in an effort to stabilise the services.

Northern has cancelled over 2,000 services since the new timetables began on 20 May, with another 200 cancelled or delayed on Friday.

Andy Burnham, who is due to discuss plans of action with Transport for the North (TfN) today, said fines should be levied on the struggling rail firms who are not prepared to fund a compensation packages and reduce fares voluntarily.

“Northern have already left people seriously out of pocket and turned their lives upside down with their chaotic services. I have heard countless stories of people forking out for taxis, hire cars, hotels and extra child care but unable to get compensation for it,” said Burnham.

Burnham noted that passengers must be properly and fully compensated, adding: “There must also be a general reduction in fares for all passengers on routes affected by these changes. Northern are set to benefit financially from this emergency timetable. It is the company, and not the passengers, who should pay the price for their mismanagement.”

Today, managing director at Northern David Brown told the BBC the new timetables needed time to ‘bed in,’ apologised to consumers and said passengers will be properly compensated.

But the emergency timetable brought in by rail providers including Greater Northern, GTR, and Southern rail, in addition to Northern, was seen as a “last chance saloon” by Burnham.

He commented: “They are causing too much damage to the economy of the North to be allowed to inflict their miserable, unreliable services on us any longer. If they are not providing the promised new May timetable by early August, then steps should be taken to strip the franchise from them.”

On Friday, Burnham said transport secretary Chris Grayling, who is set to make a statement regarding the plans for the struggling rail providers in the Commons today at 5:15 BST, was ‘asleep at the wheel’ in his handling of the crisis.

MPs write to Grayling over significant’ problems with timetable disruption

Several MPs have written to the transport secretary to air their complaints with “significant” problems on the Thameslink, Southern, and Greater Northern rail providers.

Govia Thameslink Railway have removed around 230 of its 3,600 daily services to make for a “more consistent timetable,” a spokesman said today.

But MPs from London, Befordshire and Sussex have labelled GTR an “abject failure” and complained of being contacted by constituents late for work, medical appointments, or family requirements due to the tumultuous implementation of the emergency timetable.

“Many of us have been contacted by constituents who have been late for work, medical appointments or to meet their children due to train cancellations,” the letter wrote.

"This anger has only been worsened by poor communication between GTR and passengers regarding delays, with reports that GTR have known of cancellations hours before informing customers.

"There have been widespread reports of overcrowding on platforms and on trains, as well as significant issues faced by disabled passengers needing to travel."

Earlier today, Grayling cancelled a planned meeting with venting MPs to discuss the disastrous overhaul of timetables on the Northern, Greater Northern, GTR, and Southern Rail links ahead of his announcement to the commons today.

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

‘Time is running out’: MSP and union leaders call for government intervention into Springburn depot

19/02/2019‘Time is running out’: MSP and union leaders call for government intervention into Springburn depot

Scottish Labour and union leaders have called on the government to take the Springburn depot under public control as ministers debate the depot&r... more >
South Western Railway strikes suspended after ‘significant breakthrough’ in guard dispute

19/02/2019South Western Railway strikes suspended after ‘significant breakthrough’ in guard dispute

Strike action by workers on the South Western Railway (SWR) have been suspended after a “significant breakthrough” was made in the lo... more >
MPs make joint-pledge to back rail investment in Liverpool Manchester corridor in Parliament

19/02/2019MPs make joint-pledge to back rail investment in Liverpool Manchester corridor in Parliament

More than 20 MPs from Liverpool and Manchester have signed a commitment to support rail investment in the north west. The pledge, which was ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >
Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

22/01/2019Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

In the jigsaw puzzle of regional transport decision-making, there must be collaboration and compromise. Midlands Connect media lead James Bovill ... more >
Rail Ombudsman interview: RTM sits down with CEO Kevin Grix

20/12/2018Rail Ombudsman interview: RTM sits down with CEO Kevin Grix

In November, the first ever Rail Ombudsman was established in a bid to give passengers a free independent service to allow passengers to claim co... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

05/02/2019Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

Keith Williams’ ongoing Rail Review presents a golden opportunity to rebuild the industry’s weakened relationship with its users and ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

TrackWater: Embracing data in flood prevention

05/02/2019TrackWater: Embracing data in flood prevention

Mike Harding, from Lancaster University’s Data Science Institute, introduces us to TrackWater: an innovative project between Lancaster Univ... more >
High-speed rail cannot stand in isolation

05/02/2019High-speed rail cannot stand in isolation

Last year, the Scottish Government announced two feasibility studies to better understand the economic and environmental implications of options ... more >
Flying Banana reaps the fruit of its labour

05/02/2019Flying Banana reaps the fruit of its labour

Steve Quinby, Network Rail’s head of data collection, gives us the rundown on the state-of-the-art ‘Flying Banana’ train. ... more >
Introducing the new Passenger Assist app

05/02/2019Introducing the new Passenger Assist app

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, explains how a new app developed for the rail industry wil... more >