Brazen breach of promises to the North
Brazen breach of promises to the North

Labour have written to the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, demanding he step in over imminent plans to slash Northern Rail services from this Sunday.

Passengers already battling surging fares, delays and overcrowding now face a steep cut in services across the north.

Labour have warned the Transport Secretary is “missing in action” as swathes of the north see their services slashed.

Just over four months ago, Shapps promised to “protect and improve services on existing lines” and “not to neglect shorter distance journeys” saying “levelling-up cannot wait”.

But with steep cuts set to come into force, Labour have accused the Conservatives of a “brazen breach of the promises made to the north”.

This Sunday key commuter routes between Leeds, Sheffield and Wakefield will endure reductions in services. While vital services connecting towns across West Yorkshire including Wakefield, Knottingley, Pontefract, Featherstone and Leeds continue to be withdrawn.

Essential routes helping schoolchildren in rural areas of Yorkshire connect to places such as Ilkley, Bradford and Skipton will also be slashed, leaving many stranded.

Nationwide, the latest data shows 19,000 services have been slashed across the country since the pandemic, despite journeys growing by almost 1 million in one week alone in March, as passengers return to the office and high streets.

Commenting Shadow Transport Secretary, Louise Haigh MP said:

“Vital rail services across the north are being axed, and the Transport Secretary is missing in action.”

“This is a brazen breach of the promises the Conservatives made to the north, and will hit communities hard.”

“Grant Shapps should not be sitting idly by he should stand up for local communities.”

“Under the Conservatives, passengers  pay more, for less. It’s time they listen to local communities, and put passengers first”

  • Industry data shows services have been slashed by 19,000 a week since the start of the pandemic. While journeys grew by almost 1m in the week ending 20th March, the latest week for which figures were available.
  • In May, more services are set to be cut. In Yorkshire, services from Bradford, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Wakefield and Halifax are among those to be affected from May:
  • According to reports, the rail industry has been told by the DfT to cut 10% of costs with industry sources warning that will lead to fewer services:
  • Regional leaders have warned of further reductions from an “already reduced timetable” if there is a further 10% reduction:
  • MPs have piled on the pressure on the government over the “totally unnecessary” cuts to services:
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