Mayor welcomes Government announcement on Northern rail franchise

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has welcomed the government's announcement on the Northern rail franchise.

Earlier today, Thursday 9 January, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the current franchise will only be able to continue for a number of months. Further, the government will make a decision by the end of January on whether to award Northern a new short-term contract or instead ask the Operator of Last Resort to step in.

Andy said: "For months if not years we have been calling on the government to get a grip of the chaos on the railways of the North. We are pleased they have listened and today confirmed that Northern will be stripped of their franchise. Leaders across the North stand ready to work with Government to develop a solution that delivers for passengers.

"However, the Transport Secretary is still leaving open the possibility of Northern being given a new, short-term contract. How can it be right to reward an operator which has singularly failed to deliver an acceptable train service? This would be completely unacceptable.

"Finally, after years of misery for long-suffering passengers, we are beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I urge the Transport Secretary to do the right thing for the travelling public in the North when he makes his decision at the end of the month."

Article Published: 09/01/2020 13:43 PM