End of the line for Northern - rail service brought under public control

Rail services on routes operated by Northern are to be brought under public control.

The Department for Transport is putting the Government-controlled Operator of Last Resort in charge of running services.

The chaotic introduction of new timetables in May 2018 saw hundreds of Northern trains a day cancelled.

Punctuality and reliability problems continue to blight the network.

German-based Arriva was due to run Northern until March 2025.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced routes operated by Northern are to be brought under public control. Credit: PA

In a written statement to Parliament, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he wanted "real and tangible" improvements for passengers on Northern's routes.

He said:

I am announcing today that from 1 March the Northern Rail franchise will be taken into public ownership and the Government will begin operating services through the public-sector operator - the so-called operator of last resort.

ransport Secretary Grant Shapps

Northern's owner, German-based firm Arriva, said passengers, employees and suppliers could expect operations to continue during the transfer period to public ownership.

Chris Burchell, Arriva MD UK Trains, said external factors had made the company's plan for the network "undeliverable".

"We had a clear vision for the Northern franchise that would better connect the cities of the North with more frequent, reliable and modern services and unlock economic growth," he said.

Chris Burchell, Arriva MD UK Trains