County council leader backs call for Northern Rail to provide a service "fit for purpose"

The storm of criticism has been joined by the leader of Lancashire County Council Geoff Driver today.
The storm of criticism has been joined by the leader of Lancashire County Council Geoff Driver today.
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The leader of Lancashire County Council has backed calls for Northern Rail to provide a service that is "fit for purpose."

County Coun. Geoff Driver spoke out in favour of Transport for the North after meeting with board members who have drawn up a raft of demands for Northern Rail to meet.

County Coun. Driver said: "Northern's performance since the introduction of their new timetable is wholly unacceptable.

"It shows an alarming disregard for the welfare of the travelling public.

"Lancashire County Council has been part of the monitoring process from the beginning and fully supports Transport for the North's call for action."

Transport for North has said it stands firmly with passengers as they "expect and deserve better."

John Cridland, Chairman of Transport for the North, said: "The patience of residents, businesses and visitors in the North has been tested.

"They have been inconvenienced and disrupted and need a rail service that they can rely on.

“We are deeply disappointed that – two weeks in from the timetable change – we are not yet seeing more improvement. We will scrutinise, challenge and track services over the coming days.

“We, as a group, commit to communities in the North to speak on their behalf and demand a service that is fit for purpose.”

As the voice of the Northern civic and business leaders the organisation has presented a list of demands to Northern Rail including:

* Ensuring any services in total are at least as good as they were before the introduction of the new timetable on May 20th.

*Provide clear communication to customers so that they can plan with confidence

* Compensate passengers who have bought advance or season tickets for the next two months, given the reduced level of service

* Reduce the cost of journeys for customers experiencing disruption and arrange for their tickets to be accepted on other rail operators and modes of transport, to provide passengers with an alternative route.

* Engage businesses and northern leaders on any future changes that may impact passengers.