Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

News Mayor Accuses Northern Rail of 'Planning Cancellations for Next Day'

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

News Mayor Accuses Northern Rail of 'Planning Cancellations for Next Day'

Article excerpt

NORTHERN Rail managers appear to know dozens of trains are 'likely' to be cancelled the night before, but don't tell the public, it has been claimed.

The under-fire operator, which insists it always plans to run a full service, has been accused by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham of 'misleading' passengers.

He said he has been 'shown an email which appears to suggest Northern produces a cancellation list the night before.' .

Northern bosses deny lists of preplanned train cancellations are produced. Services are cancelled, they said, with 'great reluctance.' .

A leaked email seen by the M.E.N. shows senior staff shared a list of services that were unlikely to run the following day. Sent at around 9.40pm one evening earlier this month, the email says 'the following services are likely to be cancelled tomorrow', before listing 64 services. Analysis shows around 60 per cent of the 'planned cancellations' went ahead.

Northern Rail has publicly insisted it does not plan cancellations in advance. But Mr Burnham has accused the operator of not being 'straight' with the public and has called for an investigation. On Wednesday, Northern was asked by a customer on Twitter about cancellations on the Preston to Blackpool North service. The official account replied: "There are no planned cancellations. We make every effort to run all our scheduled services.

It now Northern not been with the Manchester Andy "I'm afraid it often is a lastminute decision, because we make every effort to run all our services and we always try to find a way to do so. Cancelling is a last resort." This was reiterated by Liam Sumpter, regional director at Northern, in a letter he sent to Mr Burnham two weeks ago. Mr Sumpter said the company made 'last minute changes to a number of services, which in turn, is causing the delays and cancellations' and that 'even station staff don't always know about these late changes.' . …

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