Northern rail crisis – a letter

05 June 2018

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, has written a letter to all newspapers across the north of England about the ongoing rail timetable crisis.

Dear Sir/Madam

Rail crisis: passengers need reliable service and meaningful compensation

Unprecedented delays, confusion and cancellations have made life miserable in recent weeks for Northern passengers. Transport Focus warned about timetabling problems as long ago as last year. The rail industry responded by temporarily shortening timetable advance publication, but assured us that the problems are being dealt with.

An inquiry into what has now happened is welcome – including an understanding of how, despite strong assurances to us and others, these welcome investments and potential improvements have gone sour. The actions of governments, Network Rail and train companies needs reviewing so that timetable planning can be put back on a proper long-term footing.

Today’s passengers cannot wait for the inquiry and are looking for three things now:

  • stable timetables and reliable services
  • compensation for poor service, measured against the original timetable promised, not the slimmed down one now on offer
  • the whole rail industry to pull together to help passengers through this crisis. Lift ticket restrictions and help passengers whichever train company they need to use.

We are pushing to make these things happen on behalf of passengers and are continuing to help more passengers with their complaints to train companies.

Yours faithfully


Anthony Smith


Members of the media can contact the press office on 0300 123 2170.

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