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Deputy Mayor responds to ORR Inquiry finding that "passengers let down by rail industry failures"


THE DEPUTY Mayor of Greater Manchester, Bev Hughes, has responded to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) Inquiry's findings that passengers in the city-region were "let down by rail industry failures"

Bev said: "The findings of the ORR Inquiry make grim reading for rail operators, Network Rail and the government. But what it reveals will come as no surprise to rail travellers in the North of England, thousands of whom continue to be badly affected by a dysfunctional system relying on ancient trains and creaking infrastructure.

"The introduction of a badly botched new timetable in May, alongside delayed infrastructure improvements, turned the lives of thousands of passengers upside down. People’s family plans and work commitments were thrown into chaos on an unprecedented scale, and that must never happen again.

"I welcome the ORR Inquiry’s findings that, quite simply, the industry failed to put customers first. Northern have been rightly criticised for their poor communications and customer information that left passengers stranded and frustrated, and left frontline staff in the lurch.

"It is evident that there was a lack of transparency and that the industry and Government knew of the potential problems that could occur well in advance of the crisis. They simply failed to do enough to prevent or mitigate the risks. This is scandalous. It raises serious questions about whether the railways would in fact serve the people better were they publicly owned.

"Whilst it appears lessons are starting to be learned, the industry simply cannot be trusted to fix itself. After what has been a woeful summer we will continue to hold those running the railways, and the government, to account.

"The summertime shambles will not be forgotten and the service many passengers continue to experience on a daily basis remains sub-standard. Change and improvement must come and soon."

Article Published: 14/12/2018 13:57 PM