‘Northern Fail’ serves its last day before the government step in
Arriva Rail North will no longer be serving the Northern England. This includes local rail stations such as Lytham, Saint Anne’s-on-the-Sea, Squires Gate, and Blackpool stations. Tomorrow the government will take over the rail company under new name ‘Northern Trains Ltd’, a branch of OLR, or Operator of Last Resort, a government run organisation.
As residents living in the North, we all know that the train services have been below average, to put it nicely, with the term ‘Northern Fail’ being adopted to show our dissatisfaction. The services have been running at 56% on time within a minute, compared to the national average of 65%.
The government have promised new electric trains and to clean the fleet, but the real problems lie in rail infrastructure which causes huge delays in key stations in the North West such as Manchester and Leeds. Delays and cancellations in these areas cause a domino effect on services across the UK. Quite simply, a hoover and a new train isn’t going to solve these issues.
The government is suspected to have budgeted £100bn on transport infrastructure, and rail customers are wondering how much of this will be spent on the services that are causing them stress, frustration, time waiting for delayed and cancelled trains, not to mention money with the increased cost in railway fares announced at the beginning of the year.
Will the government manage better than German owned company Arriva, or will they flounder and continue to ignore the North, focusing more of their funding closer to home in the South and London? Only time will tell.
Author: Cassie Helme