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Letter from Transport for the North to Secretary of State for Transport

Thursday 2nd August 2018

Transport for the North’s Chairman John Cridland has written to the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling following a meeting of TfN’s Partnership Board.

01 August 2018

Dear Mr Grayling,

Rail Performance

At a meeting of our Partnership Board in Manchester yesterday we were presented with an update on current levels of train performance and future plans by Northern, TransPennine Express and Network Rail.

Following those presentations, as a Board we were left with no confidence as to the existence of a joined-up, evidence-based plan to arrive at a date when full, stable service levels will be resumed.

While we acknowledge that the interim timetable introduced by Northern did bring some stability, the ongoing levels of performance for both operators have continued to be poor, causing passengers to lose confidence in the rail system.

It was apparent to the Board that there is no mechanism in place in the North to oversee both the operational delivery of train services and rail infrastructure, with accountability spread across the industry. Therefore, the Board are writing to request the appointment by Government of a single person to oversee both.

We look forward to your response on this subject as a matter of urgency.

We would also like to invite you to our 13th September Board Meeting when rail performance will again be discussed.

Yours sincerely,

John Cridland
Transport for the North