THE NORTH's business and civic leaders are demanding action from the government to improve the region's poor railway service.

Transport for the North, a partnership bringing together the North’s nineteen local and combined authorities and northern business leaders, are taking a firm stand in support of rail passengers by calling on government to address the failings of Northern Rail.

Speaking on behalf of the partnership's board, the chairman of the group urged government to address the failing Northern Rail service.

In a six-point statement addressed to Northern Rail bosses, Transport for the North pressed them to invest in the transport infrastructure needed to boost the North’s economy.

The statement read: "As the voice of the Northern civic and business leaders, we call for Northern to:

  • Ensure any services in total are at least as good as they were before the introduction of the new timetable on May, 20 2018.
  • Provide clear communication to customers so that they can plan with confidence.
  • Compensate passengers who have bought advance or season tickets for the next two months, given the reduced level of service.
  • Reduce the cost of journeys for customers experiencing disruption.
  • Arrange for their tickets to be accepted on other rail operators and modes of transport, to provide passengers with an alternative route.
  • Engage businesses and northern leaders on any future changes that may impact passenger."

John Cridland, Chairman of Transport for the North said: “We stand firmly with passengers across the North – they expect and deserve better.

“The patience of residents, businesses and visitors in the North has been tested. They have been inconvenienced and disrupted and need a rail service that they can rely on.

“We are deeply disappointed that – two weeks in from the timetable change – we are not yet seeing more improvement. We will scrutinise, challenge and track services over the coming days.

“We, as a group, commit to communities in the North to speak on their behalf and demand a service that is fit for purpose."

Transport for the North Partnership Board will be meeting on Tuesday, June 12 to further discuss the matter.