Latest Rail News

08.06.20

Northern statement on 100-day review

On the 1st of March 2020, Northern was transferred into public ownership. Since then Northern has been undertaking a 100-day review of its business, with an emphasis on re-establishing a full and reliable train service, growing capacity and delivering the numerous improvements passengers called for.

Nick Donovan, Managing Director of Northern said that the impact of Covid-19 is something they could have never possibly imagined.

He said: “It has changed both the industry itself and public life as we know it. Despite the pandemic, the review has been delivered. Many of our employees and stakeholders have contributed to this review and I’d like to thank them for their unwavering focus and commitment to delivering positive changes for passengers, despite other unprecedented demands.

"Our immediate focus right now is on recovery from the pandemic and the restoration of a full and reliable train service whilst ensuring passengers can travel as safely as possible and our employees can work safely. COVID-19 has not changed our commitment to deliver a ‘new Northern’ that will deliver real and tangible improvements for passengers.”

He explained that they have already begun to deliver improvements for their customers, such as recruiting more staff, a full train cleaning programme and improvements to some stations. But he said there’s still plenty to do when it comes to delivering a more reliable service.

“We have prepared a range of analysis and proposals and we will be working with the Department for Transport, Rail North Partnership and wider stakeholders to continue to assess these. But the economic and financial impact of COVID-19 means that there remains much more to do to provide the modern, reliable service we want to deliver.  We have prepared a range of analysis and proposals and will be working with the Department for Transport, Rail North Partnership and wider stakeholders to continue to assess these.

"To deliver the service passengers need, train and track must deliver as one railway. Our review is therefore closely aligned with the work of other industry partners such as Network Rail and the North West Performance Recovery Task Force and we will continue to work closely with them to progress plans to deliver a better functioning railway.”

He also said that they are still working to deliver a new, performance-led timetable in December 2021.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “It is absolutely right that the immediate focus of the Government’s operator is restoring normal service levels as the country begins the process of recovery from COVID-19.

“Northern has already begun its work of improving journeys for passengers and colleagues, including the deep cleaning of all trains, recruiting 85 more train cleaning staff, and delivering upgrades to some station facilities for both passengers and staff.

“The impact of COVID-19 means we must prioritise the safety of passengers and staff. That means our focus right now must be reliability and increased capacity to enable safer travel with space for social distancing where possible.

“However, our ambition for a new Northern remains unchanged. We will continue working with the OLR and stakeholders across the North to rebuild trust, and rapidly deliver a network that passengers can truly rely on as we recover from COIVD-19.”

READ MORE: Northern franchise enters government control

Image: Northern 

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