A Cheshire MP says he was not left reassured by the Government’s response to the Northern Rail crisis following his meeting with the Transport Secretary.
Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury (Lab) and his Labour colleague Marie Rimmer (Lab, St Helens South and Whiston) met with Chris Grayling over the Northern Rail timetabling debacle currently engulfing their constituencies.
The Chronicle’s sister paper the Manchester Evening News reports Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham believes Northern rail should lower its fares and offer ‘substantial’ compensation to season ticket holders with commuters bracing themselves for travel misery.
The train franchise has been plunged into crisis over the past few weeks having to cancel thousands of services with others delayed and overcrowded as they grapple with a new timetable.
Northern Rail has temporarily scrapped around 9,000 services over two months to try to streamline their operation whilst they get back on their feet.
Mr Grayling says an ‘urgent independent review’ will be undertaken by the end of the year, but Mr Amesbury argues that is ‘not good enough’.
He said: “I recently raised this in the Commons and said it was chaos in my constituency and that’s exactly what it is.
“My constituents have been contacting me in sheer desperation because of the seemingly endless cancellations and postponements. There are livelihoods on the line here.”
He added: “I wish I could say I felt reassured by the government’s stance on this, but I can’t. The secretary told us a review would be done by the end of the year but that is in six months’ time.
“We are seeing disruption on a daily basis and there seems to be no clear end in sight.
“I will continue to press rail bosses and the government on this issue because it simply is not good enough.”