Morning commute chaos leads Green Party to renew calls for First to be stripped of it’s rail franchise.

26 September 2018

The Green Party has renewed calls for First to be stripped of Transpennine Express rail franchise as mass cancellations lead to more rail chaos this mornings (26th September) train services.

Cllr Andrew Cooper at Huddersfield StationThe 07:53, 08:06 08:20 services from Leeds to Manchester (calling at Huddersfield) were all cancelled, whilst seven other services between 7am and 9am where delayed.

In fact, according to the National Rail app, only one service, the 07:48 departed Leeds on time this morning.

Reasons for delays and cancellations this morning included points failures at Malton and driver sickness.

The volume of disruption led to dangerous levels of overcrowding onboard services that were running with not all passengers being able to board services in Leeds and Dewsbury.

Cllr Andrew Cooper (Kirklees – Newsome) has called on rail bosses to re-evaluate their positions as commuters enter their fourth month of disruption after rail timetable changes in May.

He said:

“The chaos on our rail network is really taking its toll on workers and students who travel between Leeds, Dewsbury, Huddersfield and Manchester for work or study.

Cllr Andrew Cooper at Huddersfield Station “Our rail infrastructure is crumbling due to lack of investment and the management at the rail companies have failed to ensure that there are enough staff to cope with even the most minimal level of sickness absence.

“Chris Grayling and the senior management at First Transpennine Express need to reconsider their positions and decide if they really are the right people to be responsible for our rail network.”

The Green Party seek to return the railways to public ownership and to stop profits being put before passengers.

Earlier this year, rail regulators has blamed Network Rail and the train operators for “systemic failings” by management that led to a disastrous introduction of new timetables earlier this year. 

Analysis produced by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP), found that disruption on the railways had cost the economy in the North of England around £38m. It had resulted in almost 950,000 lost working hours between 20 May and 30 June and cost an average of 22,504 a day.

Covered in Huddersfield Examiner.



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