Northern Rail is set to be stripped of its franchise after service deemed ‘unacceptable’

Northern Rail

It looks like the frustrations caused by Northern Rail at the end of 2019 have had a detrimental effect for the train operator.

The transport secretary has announced today that Northern will be stripped of its franchise, as fares across Britain rose by an average of 2.7%.

Grant Shapps says he will strip Northern Rail of their franchise because the level of service they offer is “unacceptable.”

Thousands of people complained about the operator last year, and now it seems the Transport Secretary is taking action.

The announcement comes after an unprecedented year of chaos and cancellations across the network with figures from the Office of Rail and Road showing that only 56% of Northern services were on time in the last quarter of 2019.

This, combined with the absolute mess of their timetable change in December, triggered protests at Manchester's Victoria station and other prominent Northern Rail locations.

Northern Rail

Speaking about the operator, Mr Shapps described services on the route as "really bad" and claimed passengers have "had a nightmare on that line since 2016."

And in response to being asked if the firm would be stripped of its franchise, he replied: "The simple answer to the question is yes, it is going to be brought to an end.

"It's partially a legal process but frustrated commuters will not have to wait long."


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