Train cancellation chaos shows government's ‘utter disregard’ for Northern cities, Labour says

Number of trains cancelled or significantly late risen by 50 per cent since 2010, according to Labour

Shaun Connolly
Monday 03 September 2018 14:37
Jeremy Corbyn chats to passengers on Northern Rail train about safety for women

There has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of trains that are cancelled or significantly late since 2010, Labour has said.

Overcrowding has also risen by more than 25 per cent on the top 10 most packed peak-time routes, the party insisted as Labour hit out at what it dubbed "Tory rail mayhem".

Jeremy Corbyn is travelling the proposed route of Crossrail for the North between Liverpool and Hull on Monday to highlight Labour's plans for rolling renationalisation of the railways.

The Labour leader said: "The rail chaos unleashed by the Tories on the North of England shows their utter disregard for people living in the towns and cities in the North.

"For decades, northern communities have received only a fraction of the transport investment that is spent in London and the South East.

"Labour will put this right by building Crossrail for the North, connecting the great cities of the north of England to unlock huge untapped potential.”

He added: "People's lives are being badly affected by this chaos and the Government needs to recognise that rail privatisation has failed. Labour will end this rip-off and bring our railways into public ownership so they are run in the interests of passengers, not private profit.

"The overcrowding, delays and cancellations on our railways is fast becoming a national disgrace thanks to the Tories. With fares set to go up by 36 per cent since 2010, it's clear that passengers are paying more for less under the Tories."

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "We are spending over £13 billion through to 2020 to transform transport across the North - the biggest investment any government in history has ever made.

East Coast Mainline renationalised by government after Virgin Trains deal terminated

"We are committed to northern investment, which is why we are investing £3 billion upgrading the TransPennine route and providing an extra 500 carriages with space for 40,000 extra passengers and 2,000 additional services each week.

"The Government is also committed to developing Northern Powerhouse Rail - we have given Transport for the North £60 million to develop proposals for the scheme, alongside £300 million to ensure HS2 can accommodate future NPR services. Transport for the North is currently working to produce a business case for Northern Powerhouse by the end of 2018."

Robert Nisbet, regional director of the Rail Delivery Group - the organisation that represents the public and private rail partnership, said: "There is no simple answer to the complex challenges the railway is facing, but the lesson from the last two decades is the private sector working with the public sector has a vital role to play in the solution.

"We must look afresh at the way the railway is run and regulated to help unleash a new generation of innovation, investment and working in partnership for our customers, as well as local communities and the UK economy."

Press Association

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