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Nationalise Northern now: rail union boss

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

The general secretary of the rail union TSSA has called for a government review of Britain’s railways to recommend the Northern rail franchise returns to public control.

Manuel Cortes's comments come after a report from the Campaign for Better Transport called for Arriva Northern to be nationalised..

Keith Williams, who’s heading a review of Britain’s railways, will shortly report to the government.

Mr Cortes said: “The franchise model has failed and Northern just happens to be the worst of a bad bunch. The Government can’t go on looking the other way armed only with sticking plasters.

“I recently met Keith Williams and told him this face to face. He has a golden opportunity to improve the lives of millions across the North by telling Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that the game is up and Northern must return to public control. Frankly that is the only way to turn this mess around and create a system which works for passengers rather than profiteers."

A Northern spokesperson said: “Our customers deserve the best possible rail service and we are working hard, to improve industry performance.

“Arriva and Northern remain fully committed to delivering the transformation of the North’s railways and improving customers’ experience. We are delivering the biggest transformation of local rail for a generation, with 52 of our 101 new trains now in service."

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “We are developing contingency plans for the replacement of the current franchise with either a new short-term management contract with Northern or the 'Operator of Last Resort'.”



Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

About time, Northern rail are appalling. I had to get a train from Salford Central on Sunday to get to the match which was a pain in itself, but when i arrived, of the six trains on the board due to leave in the next hour 3 had already been cancelled due to lack of train crew  Rolling Eyes

I've had the same issue loads of times at weekends trying to get to the match. There was also the issue of the electrification of the line through Bolton that took the best part of 3 years which meant we should see shiny new trains. Unfortunately still not seen many new trains and the old boneshaker pacer trains are still in use even though they now have one in the railway museum!

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