Meltdown Monday… and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…

  • 25 May 2018
  • Posted in: Planning & Development, Management & Leadership

Commuters on both sides of the North-South divide experienced a rare sense of rail transport equality this week; as services on networks across the country nosedived on the first working day of the newly revised timetables.

Poor infrastructure, aged stock and inadequate service delivery have been a consistent fixture of Northern commutes for some time; so much so, that the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who delivered a keynote address at Open Forum’s NHS Staff: Skills, Retention and Recruitment conference last week, has called for an inquiry into the operator Northern Rail, after being tipped-off by a whistleblower that the company plans its service cancellations in advance - contrary to what company representatives claim.

Passengers on Northern Rail services have long been voicing frustration over the staggeringly high number of cancellations, late-running services and inadequate amount of carriages operating on the network; without seeing their concerns reflected in the national media. Over the course of the past three weeks, both before the implementation of the new timetable and after, Northern Rail have cancelled in excess of 1,000 services (900 services pre-implementation and 327 routes cancelled on Monday post-implementation).

However, this week the dire state of the country’s rail network was on full-display in national newspapers and television reports, as the problems seeped into southern networks and caused mass disruption to services delivering commuters to-and-from the capital; figures suggest one in every four trains due to run through central London were cancelled on Monday.