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Transport Secretary’s incompetence with the railways long pre-dates timetable shambles - MP

December 4, 2018 11:09 AM

Commenting on the damning report from the Commons Transport Select Committee which blames the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling for the meltdown of rail timetables over the summer, South Lakes MP Tim Farron said:

"I fully agree with the Committee's conclusion that the Transport Secretary's failure to act was instrumental to the chaos on our railways.

"But here in Cumbria, we know the devastating consequences of Chris Grayling's incompetence stretches much further back than this summer.

"It was his decision to cancel electrification projects, including here in the Lake District, that led to chaos with diesel trains having to be found last minute from elsewhere, and drivers spending time being retrained rather than driving trains.

"But more importantly, it was his department's completely inexplicable decision to take both the Furness and Lakes Lines off TransPennine and hand them over to Northern back in 2016 that has led to over 2 years' worth of disruption and disappointment for passengers in South Cumbria.

"Of course Chris Grayling needs to step up and take responsibility, but more importantly he needs to take action, give people across the North West an early Christmas present and strip Northern of their franchise."