Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Northern Rail: 'Interim timetable' introduced to cut cancellations

Northern Rail: 'Interim timetable' introduced to cut cancellations

Following the changes to Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) timetables on 20 May London's workforce has suffered severe disruption and cancellations across the network, including in some instances trains reportedly disappearing from timetables altogether.

A petition was set up by a member of the public, calling for: "The Secretary of State [for Transport to] intervene immediately over GTR's failure to implement its new timetable leaving commuters stranded and mass cancellations of services despite having a year to plan for the changes".

Train operator Northern has removed 165 daily services until the end of July to improve reliability amid major disruption.

Northern's managing director David Brown said: 'We have been experiencing some significant disruption to train services, especially around north Manchester, Bolton, Liverpool, Blackpool and up to the Lake District.

For at least two weeks, Northern are removing all services on the Lakes Line from Preston to Lancaster and Oxenholme and will be operating a Rail Replacement Bus (RRB) service.

"We're truly sorry for this and are working hard to fix this", he said.

On Friday, GTR saw nine per cent of its trains either cancelled or more than 30 minutes late.

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David added: "Again I would like to apologise on behalf of Northern for the unacceptable service many customers have been subject to".

"We are committed to working with Network Rail to get things back on track as quickly as possible, and to deliver the services our customers expect and deserve". We have reduced services during this interim period as a result of this closure. Passengers have had enough of excuses and a lack of accountability.

Sheffield loses out to Leeds and Manchester in Channel 4 headquarters shortlistThe Rail, Maritime and Transport union said "ill-conceived" timetable changes, combined with staff shortages and the "incompetence" of private rail companies, have reduced services to "chaos".

Cash described it as disgusting that Grayling and "his private train company bosses" had "dived for cover rather than face the passengers they have hung out to dry".

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the disruption was "unacceptable".

Mark Carne, Network Rail's chief executive, said there was no doubt the May timetable was finalised "significantly later than normal for reasons that were both within and without our control". These changes were billed as a serious increase and improvement in services, but instead it has resulted in chaos, impacting terribly on passengers, both in and outside London and damaging our worldwide reputation as a global city.

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