Blake - Caution needed over return to normal rail timetable

12 July 2018

Transport for the North's Rail North Committee met today and discussed the recent disruption to rail services and the proposed return to a normal timetable from Sunday 29 July.
Link to the Rail North Committee agenda.

After the meeting, Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire and York representative, said: "I was dismayed by what I and fellow Northern leaders heard today about the ongoing rail disruption, the continued poor performance of Northern and TransPennine services, and the proposed return to a normal timetable on July 29.

"On the basis of what was presented it was far from clear that the rail industry has a thorough understanding of all the issues which contributed to the chaos following the introduction of the new timetable and therefore whether they have been properly addressed.

"It was made clear to I and my fellow Northern leaders that despite our fundamental concerns it will be down to the operators themselves to determine whether the full timetable is resumed and only the Transport Secretary who has the power to direct them otherwise. I urge the operators, Network Rail and the Transport Secretary to consider carefully whether resuming the timetable on July 29 is in the best interests of passengers.

"Today's meeting has underlined in the most comprehensive way possible the need for strengthening the democratic and passenger voice in the regulation of rail services in the North of England through a reformed Transport for the North which will be a key focus of my review recommendations."

Cllr Blake is leading a review of the rail disruption which will report its findings to Rail Minister Jo Johnson.