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TSSA Told Northern Rail Franchise Facing Financial Crisis

10 June 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called for the Government to "put passengers first" and bring the Northern rail franchise back under public ownership and control after picking up on credible rumours that the train operator is likely to go bust later this year.

Speculation within the rail industry indicates that Northern is facing a serious financial crisis and is likely to follow Virgin East Coast, which eventually ran out of money and was then forced to hand the franchise back to the government.

Manuel Cortes said: “The government must act now and put passengers first. By all accounts Northern is failing and therefore can’t be allowed to stagger on for months causing yet more misery for passengers.

“A failing franchise won’t only provide proper services, it’s likely to overlook non urgent repairs and there is also the distinct possibility of overall safety being compromised. That is something this union will never allow.

“For all those reasons Chris Failing Grayling can’t drag his heels on this one. The travelling public are sick and tired of the misery caused by Northern in the light of the timetabling fiasco last year.

“If Northern is financially compromised then Grayling must do the right thing now and act to bring this franchise back into public hands.

“This again just goes to show that you can’t play fast and loose with the railways. Privateers and public services are a match made in hell – just ask any of Northern’s customers.”

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