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Northernfail Must Be Put Out Of Its Misery - Cortes

16 December 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called for the Northern franchise to be nationalised after rail commuters were hit by a series of cancellations as new timetables came into effect this morning.

By 10am nearly 20 trains had been cancelled and more than 30 delayed on the franchise. Services between Blackpool North and Manchester Airport, Leeds to York and Sheffield, and Darlington to Saltburn were all hit.

There have been major problems on Northern since the widespread chaos across the North of England in the Spring of 2018. Cancellations are commonplace and in October fewer than half the company’s rail services ran on time, according to Northern’s own figures.

Cortes said: "Northern is beyond a joke and needs to be put out of its misery. The company said the timetable changes would bring reliability and stability – but as usual what we get is chaos.

“No more excuses – Northern has utterly failed and that has been the case not for months but years. It must be taken back into public hands now and (Transport Secretary) Grant Shapps must wake up to the fact.

“Millions of people are being badly let down by Northernfail and other franchises such as TransPennine. They are rightly angry and we will stand with them in demanding change.

“The Tories have been talking big about how they will deliver for the North. This is Johnson's first test since winning on Thursday.

“Will he act decisively to end the Northern Rail scandal? If not his rhetoric will be judged simply as bluster. Actions speak far louder than words.”

Transpennine Express had also cancelled a number of services included those on routes linking Manchester Airport with Edinburgh and Newcastle, and trains from Liverpool Lime Street to Scarborough.

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