Calls for Northern Rail to be stripped of franchise

The mayors of Greater Manchester and Liverpool have called for Northern Rail to be stripped of its franchise.

Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling should terminate the franchise as soon as possible.

In a joint statement, they said Northern had “consistently failed” to deliver its legally binding requirements.

The mayors said they were speaking on behalf of the 4.3 million people they represent, a year after last May’s rail timetable chaos.

The two mayors said Northern has failed to deliver a significant and sustained improvement in performance, with nearly a fifth of all services arriving late, 28,000 services cancelled, and a huge increase in services being “shortformed” – reducing the number of carriages on the train – from 2,825 in December 2018 to 4,172 in April 2019.