Mayor holds crisis talks with Northern leaders as rail chaos continues
West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin has convened an emergency meeting with Northern Metro Mayors today to discuss the ongoing disruption faced by rail passengers across the North.
The talks with Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham; Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram; Mayor of the North of Tyne Jamie Driscoll and Mayor of South Yorkshire Oliver Coppard follow weeks of disruption where hundreds of services have been cancelled by a number of rail operators, including TransPennine Express, Avanti West Coast and Northern.
The saga has affected thousands of commuters in the North, with people left facing last-minute cancellations or waiting hours for unreliable replacement services..
Brabin, said: “Today, we as Northern Mayors come together to send a clear message that we will not stand for this shambles.
“This is inflicting misery on millions of people, derailing our plans to build a strong Northern economy and putting us in the slow lane.
“The North has been left behind for far too long, and we’re calling on the third transport secretary in as many months to step in with an immediate intervention.”
Earlier in the week, Brabin spoke directly with TransPennine Express and told its chief executive to come up with an immediate solution. She stressed that the disruption was slowing down the economy at a time of severe instability and joined calls for Rishi Sunak’s Government to step in.
Later today, the Mayors are expected to make a direct plea to the newest Transport Secretary to get around the table with operators and unions and deal with the ongoing issues, including rest day working.
The Mayors of West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, North of Tyne, South Yorkshire together represent just under nine million people within their regions.