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Lancashire rail passengers were "let down"


6:45am 20th September 2018

A new report has found that rail passengers in Lancashire were "let down" by the industry.

It's after almost 800 services were cancelled or delayed in May - leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) have published their findings into the network disruption. 

They say "nobody took charge", and that's what led to havoc on the railways.

2BR sent reporter Laura on a mission to get from Burnley to Manchester in the height of the issues. 

It ended up taking her over five hours to make the return trip after delays, cancellations and diversions.

Northern rail #Lancashire 4
Hundreds of Lancashire services were delayed or cancelled

ORR also says that Network Rail, train operators, the government and the watchdog itself were all at fault and made mistakes - but it's unclear who's responsible for what.

The deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester has responded.

Bev Hughes says;

"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."

Northern rail new train
Northern Rail has been criticised for their handling of the problems

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has now ordered a major review of Britain's railways to consider things like franchising and value for money.

He's promised a a "root and branch" approach that would "leave no stone unturned".

More news from across Lancashire

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