Northern Rail looks likely to lose its franchise following intervention by the Transport Secretary.
Following comments made by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps at the House of Commons Transport Select Committee, the Government lay take over the management of Northern Rail.
Mr Shapps has asked Northern Rail, which operates a wide range of North West rail routes linking key cities including Liverpool and Manchester, to submit refined proposals after telling the committee that the current arrangements “cannot continue”.
Mr Shapps said:
“As a fellow long-suffering commuter, I entirely believe we cannot carry on just thinking it is OK for trains not to arrive, or Sunday services not to be in place. That has to change.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham resonded:
“After months of misery it is a relief for us to hear Government finally accept what we’ve been saying repeatedly, that things can’t carry on as they are.
“Northern passengers will agree with the transport secretary that the current situation of unreliable, overcrowded trains ‘cannot continue’.
“People deserve so much better than this and that is why both Steve Rotheram and I have been calling for Northern to be stripped of its franchise for some time. Grant Shapps should now accelerate plans to terminate the Northern franchise and bring in an operator of last resort. I stand ready to work with him on this.
“It is only through taking decisive action that we can restore the trust of the public and deliver a rail network that finally works for passengers.”
Please see the Transport Secretary’s comments as reported by the Times here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/northern-rail-set-to-be-renationalised-w3x7559rf