Newspapers in north tell Theresa to get a grip

07 June 2018

Mick Whelan, ASLEF's general secretary, has written to 25 newspapers in the north of England who have joined forces to complain about the chaos on Northern Rail, the inept way in which the privatised train operating company introduced its new timetables, without proper preparation or proper planning, and the multiple failures of Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. The papers - including the Yorkshire Post, Sheffield Star, Lancashire Evening Post, Blackpool Gazette, Northern Echo, Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, Newcastle Journal, Bradford Telegraph & Argus, and Huddersfield Examiner, called on the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to intervene and 'get a grip' on the situation.

Mick said: 'I am writing to support your call for the Prime Minister to ‘get a grip’ on the chaos caused to passengers by the new timetable introduced by Northern Rail. The truth is that Theresa May and the Transport Secretary, referred to by colleagues in the Conservative Party these days as Failing Grayling, are badly letting down passengers in the north of England. The fault lies with Mr Grayling; the Department for Transport; Network Rail; and Northern Rail, which does not employ enough drivers to deliver the service it promised, in its franchise application, to deliver; and which started training drivers – giving drivers the route knowledge they need – far too late. It makes a mockery of the idea of a Northern Powerhouse. The lack of investment in rail in the north is an utter disgrace; the north receives £2,555 less per person than London in rail investment each year (£1,600 per person compared with £4,155). As train drivers, and as a progressive trade union, we believe in a modern railway, fit for passengers, and staff, to help build a better Britain in the 21st century.'


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