Transport for the North has expressed its continuing concern at efforts by rail operators in the region to improve their service and end ongoing disruption affecting millions of passengers across the north.
On 31 July 2018, members of the Transport for the North partnership board received an update from Northern, TransPennine Express and Network Rail on current levels of train performance and future plans, in the context of ongoing disruption.
Travellers on Northern services on some routes in Lancashire, Cumbria, Liverpool city region and Greater Manchester have suffered disruption over a long period of time due to delays to improve the line between Manchester and Blackpool and many cancellations and delays following the implementation of a new timetable on 20 May.
Following a wide-ranging discussion, the board concluded that it had not received sufficient assurance that current plans and a move to the full May timetable in September are fully deliverable. The board is concerned that train performance targets will continue to not be fully met, on the basis of current performance levels and network infrastructure constraints. Transport for the North plans to raise these concerns directly with the industry and also with government.
The Transport for the North board also endorsed compensation for regular passengers who do not hold season tickets. There are still some practical issues that train operators are addressing to finalise a suitable claim process as quickly as possible in order to extend compensation schemes to those affected by the ongoing disruption on the network.