Blake criticises further delay to rail improvements
10 July 2018
Responding to the announcement that major rail service improvements will not go-ahead in December, Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and Member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said:
Following previous delays to service improvements, the scrapping of the East Coast Main Line franchise and the botched introduction of a new timetable it was hard to imagine rail passengers in the North of England could be further disappointed but this announcement represents another blow. Network Rail's failure to deliver projects on time was a major factor behind the recent timetable chaos and now it is delaying service improvements, which should have been in place last year, to 2019 at the earliest.
Yet again, a major decision on rail services has been made without warning, without consultation with northern leaders and without a voice for passengers, an issue my review into the timetable chaos will address as a priority.
The Government should ensure the commitments made by rail operators properly reflect Network Rail's capacity so when passengers are promised service improvements they are delivered on time. It is clear the current system is failing passengers, business and all who rely on a functioning rail network.