Greens urge government to ditch Transpennine Express contract after another day of chaos on rail services

Liverpool Transpennine Express Green Party

The Green Party has demanded the Government step in following another day of rail chaos on the routes served by Transpennine Express.

Data from Train Beacon showed that by 08:00 this morning (23rd January), Transpennine Express had already cancelled 60 services – more than double the next highest operator. 

The data also showed that the operator, which is owned by First Group, was continuing to use short term pre-cancellation, despite being ordered by the Office of Rail and Road to stop this practice (2).

The use of “pre-cancellations”, which is also known as “p-coding”, means that cancelled services are not included in railway performance statistics.

“Transpennine Express are making the lives of thousands of commuters miserable through cancellations. People are waking up to find their trains to work have just disappeared. This is no way to run a public service. Commuters in places like Leeds and Liverpool deserve far better.

If this sort of disruption was happening in The South we would have seen action months ago. Why should commuters in Leeds or Liverpool accept less?”

Cllr. Matt Edwards, the Green Party transport spokesperson

First Group’s contract to run the Transpennine Express service is up for renewal in May but Greens are demanding the government to remove the contract sooner.

“The mismanagement of the Transpennine Express services by First Group shows that they are not fit to run rail services in the UK. The level of cancellations in this one operator raises serious concerns about the ability of the management to do their jobs.

This is causing serious damage to the Northern economy. If the government is committed to its so-called “levelling up agenda” we need our basic infrastructure to work. First have had their chance and now the government needs to step in.”

Councillor Edwards added

Transpennine Express operates services connecting key towns and cities in the North of England and Scotland including Liverpool, Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds, Doncaster, Sheffield, Hull, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.