MP calls for Northern to be 'given the boot'

An MP from Cumbria has, once again, called on the Government to strip train operator Northern of its franchise.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron says the rail company should be 'given the boot' after an 'onslaught of cancellations' and delayed trains across northern England.

200

trains were cancelled, according to the Northern Fail app.

Mr Farron is writing to Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, urging him to publish a review into the country's railways and to take action to strip the franchise from Northern.

He said: “During the election, we heard a lot of warm words from the Government about investing in the North.

“So, if they really wanted to show that they care about people up here in Cumbria and the rest of the North, then they must take action and give Northern the boot.

He continued: “Commuters here in Cumbria and across the North have had to pay first class ticket prices for a non-existent service for far too long.

“It’s time for Boris Johnson to give the North an early Christmas present and sack Northern.

“Our customers deserve the best possible rail service and we are working hard, alongside our partners, to improve industry performance."

Credit: PA

A spokesperson from Northern says they are committed to delivering their services. They said: “We now operate 2,000 more services each week than at the start of the franchise.

"This means we will deliver 30 per cent more “train miles” in 2019 than in 2016. By the end of the year almost 110 million journeys will have been made using Northern trains in 2019 – that’s a record for the North.

“And yet there has been no real increase in track capacity since 2016, which has led to more congested railways across the North. This congestion has taken its toll on punctuality.

"This year has also seen a number of extreme weather events – including unprecedented levels of flooding in September and November which have further impacted performance. “