Northern: chaos amid timetable changes and cancellations

Delays and cancellations on the Northern Rail service have caused anger and frustration for travellers across the region.

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Northern: Rail workers to stage three more strikes in row over guards

Members of the RMT union on Arriva Rail North will strike later this month. Credit: ITV News

Workers in one of the rail operators hit by disruption to services are to stage a series of fresh strikes in the long-running dispute over the role of guards.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union on Arriva Rail North (Northern) will walk out for 24 hours on June 19, 21 and 23.

The company has been under fire in recent weeks because of daily delays and cancellations to rail services.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "We have seen over the past fortnight that Northern is a company which has declared war on its passengers and staff alike.

"RMT will not stand aside while the threat to axe safety critical guards from Northern services remains central to the company plans.

"This company has reduced the timetable to total chaos and the union will not allow them to slash the safety culture to ribbons in the same fashion.

"It is a tribute to the determination and professionalism of RMT members on Arriva Rail North that they have remained rock solid for over a year now in what is a clear-cut battle to put public safety before private profit.

"German-owned Northern Rail want to run half a million trains a year without a safety critical guard on board in a move that would wreck both safety and access to services and they should listen to their front-line staff and pull back from that plan immediately.

"RMT has agreed arrangements in Wales and Scotland that enshrine the guard guarantee. If it's good enough for Wales and Scotland to have safe rail services it should be good enough for the rest of Britain."

  1. Granada

Chaos at Northern to be investigated, says Transport Secretary

The Government has hit out at the troubled rail operator Northern after commuters suffered more chaos, despite the company introducing a new emergency timetable.

Passengers we spoke to in the North West arrived at railway stations to find more than 160 services had been axed.

In a statement in the last hour, the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling promised a compensation scheme for passengers.

Mr Grayling also promised an independent inquiry into the chaos and said he would not hold back if that inquiry showed Northern Rail was negligent:

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  1. Granada

Northern Rail announces changes to timetable to tackle disruption

David Brown, Managing Director, Northern Credit: Northern

Northern has announced that it will make temporary changes to its timetable to tackle the problem of last minute rail cancellations.

Beginning on Monday, and lasting until the end of July, Northern say they will temporarily remove six percent of their daily train services, which amounts to a hundred and sixty five out of two thousand eight hundred daily services.

The company says that this will enable them to stabilise service levels and start to reduce the number of last minute cancellations, and that though In the short-term they will be running fewer services, it will still be more than before the May timetable change. The full timetable service will resume by the end of July.

What areas are affected?

Lakes Line

For an initial period of two weeks, we are removing all services on the Lakes Line to and from Preston, Lancaster and Oxenholme and will, instead, operate a replacement bus service to keep people who live, work and visit the Lake District on the move.

Blackpool

In and around Blackpool we are reducing services between Blackpool South and Preston, Preston and Colne and will remove a small number of off-peak services between Blackpool North and Manchester Airport. Other services between Blackpool North and Manchester Piccadilly will start/terminate at Manchester Oxford Road.

Lancashire

There will be reductions between Ormskirk and Preston and a small number between Blackburn and Southport via Manchester Victoria, whilst many services on the Lancaster to Morecambe line will be removed.

Manchester

We have reduced services on the Kirkby to Manchester Victoria line via Wigan, and the number of trains operating each day between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge.

Liverpool City Region

Additionally, as already extensively communicated, there is a closure of Liverpool Lime Street for two months whilst significant work takes place on resignalling and remodelling of the infrastructure. We have reduced services during this interim period as a result of this closure. This will see three trains per hour run between Liverpool and Wigan/Manchester Victoria.

On a number of these routes there will be alternative rail services available, as well as other modes of transport. Where available, rail replacement buses will also operate on affected routes with details provided locally for customers.

– Northern Statement

We have been experiencing some significant disruption to train services, especially around north Manchester, Bolton, Liverpool, Blackpool and up to the Lake District. I’d like to apologise for this unacceptable situation and for the disruption and inconvenience many passengers have faced. We’re truly sorry for this and are working hard to fix this.

Again I would like to apologise on behalf of Northern for the unacceptable service many customers have been subject to. We are absolutely committed to resolving the service issues, and the interim plan will help ensure we start to get back on track and start to give customers more certainty around the services we operate.

– David Brown, Managing Director, Northern
  1. Granada

Northern newspapers unite to tell government to 'get a grip' of the rail crisis

Newspapers across the north of England have joined forces to call on Theresa May to "get a grip" after chaos continued on the rail network.

Some 25 titles called on the Prime Minister to lead an emergency summit in Downing Street this week to find a solution to the crisis, and urged a review of rail franchising.

The group also demanded the trans-Pennine high-speed line is prioritised over London's Crossrail II and devolution of more powers over transport.

Northern Rail was also urged to clarify its plans for a compensation scheme for passengers.

The Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo and Yorkshire Post were among the papers calling for action after passengers across the north were hit by crippling disruption following the introduction of a new rail timetable.

They said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling should take accountability for the rail chaos and told Mrs May it was time to "get a grip".

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