Northern Rail sorry to Derbyshire passengers for 'poor performance'

Northern Rail has apologised to passengers in North East Derbyshire for its ‘poor performance’.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 6:00 am

Scores of travellers in the area using Northern trains have contacted North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley over the last six months about cancellations, regular late running services and untidy carriages.

Last week, the Conservative politician met with Northern in Westminster to convey passengers’ concerns.

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Northern Rail will be taken into public ownership from March.

Mr Rowley said: “Reliable and punctual trains are vital for people who rely on these services to get into work.

“Whether travelling for work or leisure, nobody enjoys being late or having to wait another hour due to cancellations.

“We recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of Dronfield train station and it’s important that Northern improve its services locally so that commuters get what they pay for.”

The Tories recently announced that the Northern franchise will be stripped from Arriva and operated by the government for the foreseeable future from March.

Mr Rowley added: “It’s clear that the current franchise arrangements aren’t working and I support the government taking action on this.

“We then need to work on the longer-term solution to make Northern work properly – the focus should be on making the trains in Dronfield and Chesterfield turn up, run on time and be clean.

“Improvements don’t happen overnight and I will continue to hold to account those responsible for the services connecting Dronfield and Chesterfield to elsewhere.

“We need to see this service back on track for the long-term.”

When the Derbyshire Times visited Dronfield on Tuesday morning, a number of people said they choose to no longer travel by train.

One woman, who did not want to be identified, said: “You don’t get value for money at all.

“The trains are often late or cancelled and the carriages can be very messy.”

A Northern spokesperson: “We are truly sorry for the poor performance that customers have experienced for services between Leeds and Nottingham during the autumn and winter months.

“There are a number of valid reasons for this which we explained to the MP.

“We will keep all our stakeholders and customers informed of the progress we are making to improve train performance.”