We say to Prime Minister Theresa May that she must now accept responsibility for the interminable disruption, and lead the Government’s response, after Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said ‘sorry’ for the first time as he ordered Network Rail, and the train operators, to ‘fix’ the crisis.
With passengers bracing themselves for weeks of further delays as a result of these cack-handed changes, you, Mrs May, will be jeopardising the credibility of the Northern Powerhouse, and alienating this region for good, if you do not intervene now on behalf of passengers.
Given its over-riding objective is to improve public transport between the North’s major cities in order to transform the future economic prospects of this region, we together urge you to:
The resulting inconvenience suffered by passengers ranging from top business executives to commuters, jobseekers, students, tourists and many others has been, and remains, incalculable as Mr Grayling announced an inquiry into how the introduction of the new timetable was so mismanaged by the industry.
Unlike London and the South East, this region’s transport infrastructure has been under-funded by successive governments and the North simply cannot sit and wait for the completion of HS2 and better links to and from London.
If we are to make a greater contribution to the prosperity of the whole country, we need a transport network fit for the 21st century with improved east-west connections and the North’s great cities linked by the quantity and quality of services being introduced on London’s state-of-the-art Crossrail line.
Rest assured, the Echo along with other media in the North, will not ease up until it is satisfied with the answers provided by Mrs May and her Government’s level of commitment to the North.