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Northern Rail adopts emergency timetable - but cancellations continue

Hyndburn's MP and councillors have written to the Transport Minister over ongoing disruption

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Northern Rail adopts emergency timetable

Hyndburn’s MP and councillors have signed a letter to ministers complaining of ‘intolerable’ ongoing service disruptions on Northern Rail.

Dozens of Northern services from the borough’s stations have been cancelled during the past week.

An emergency timetable has been put into operation from Monday, June 4, but by 12noon on its first day two trains passing through Rishton, Church and Oswaldtwistle, Accrington and Huncoat stations had already been cancelled.

In the seven days previous to the emergency timetable being implemented, 73 services passing through the borough’s stations had been cancelled.

The company has apologised for the ‘unacceptable situation’ and said in the short-term they will be running fewer services before resuming a full timetable service by the end of July.

The reduction in services affects the line between Preston and Colne and ‘a small number’ of services between Blackburn and Southport via Manchester Victoria which also pass through Hyndburn.

A letter signed by Hyndburn MP Graham Jones and Hyndburn councillors, Steve Button, Melissa Fisher, Noordad Aziz, Munsif Dad and June Harrison, has been sent to Transport Minister Chris Grayling saying that the situation had become ‘intolerable’ for rail users.

The letter said: “What should be a simple commute to and from work has become a battle against the departures board. Issues range from repeated delayed services, cancellations and overcrowding. We are picking up reports of possible job loss threats due to the instability of the rail service. On behalf of rail users we are asking for an official investigation into whether Northern Rail is in breach of its franchise agreement. We also ask for reassurance that you are taking every step to ensure Northern Rail improves its service immediately. This cannot be allowed to go on any longer.”

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In a statement on Monday morning, David Brown, Northern’s managing director said: “I’d like to apologise for this unacceptable situation and for the disruption and inconvenience many passengers have faced. We’re truly sorry for this and are working hard to fix this. We are absolutely committed to resolving the service issues, and the interim plan will help ensure we start to get back on track and start to give customers more certainty around the services we operate.”