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Welcoming the initial findings of ORR Report on Timetable Disruption

Thursday 20th September 2018

Transport for the North has today (20 September) welcomed the publication of the Office of Rail and Road ‘Independent Inquiry into the Timetable Disruption in May 2018’.

Barry White, Chief Executive of Transport for the North, said: “The interim findings of this Glaister Review clearly highlight that there is a real need for radical change in the way the rail industry operates. Fundamentally, as our members have said from the outset, changes are needed so we can be sure passengers’ interests are put front and centre of every decision made.”

He added: “The Report’s summary highlights the Rail Delivery Group’s statement that ‘the timetable is our promise to passengers’. This summer, in the North of England, and elsewhere, that promise was broken. That is unacceptable. It was passengers who suffered and that must not be allowed to happen again.”

Transport for the North’s members recently called on Government to appoint an independent person to oversee the co-ordination of the rail industry as an urgent measure to ensure co-ordination across the industry and between track and train. The appointment of Richard George, who managed the transport for the London Olympics, was announced by Government earlier this month. Members also pressed for a comprehensive compensation package for travellers and areas that have faced the worst of the disruption; schemes to provide this are currently under roll-out.

Barry White said: “That appointment, and the compensation packages, are first steps on a long journey of rail reform. The findings of this Report when it is concluded, informed by the findings of our own Review now underway through the Rail North Partnership, will help further ensure that passengers’ voices are heard.”

White said he recognised that people don’t want to hear about endless reviews, but want action, and added: “Throughout this Summer we have worked tirelessly to ensure the train operating companies stabilise services in the North and with some success – and we will continue to do so. What passengers need above all is a reliable train service, one they can depend on – and that’s where our immediate focus has been.”

The Transport for the North Chief Executive said the pan-northern organisation, which gained statutory status in April of this year, would continue to actively participate in the Review and make sure its members views were fully represented as the industry and those that regulate it move forward.