Transport Secretary Chris Grayling apologises for timetable change delays

Action plan drawn up after train cancellations in Wigan

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said plans to improve the company's performance had been submitted and he will be speaking to managers to discuss future steps.

The rail timetable is updated twice a year, but the latest update has seven times more changes than normal due to the introduction of new trains and a bid to make existing services more reliable.

This would include improving driver rostering, increasing driver training on new routes and putting extra peak services into the timetable on key routes.

There are now delays and cancellations on the Manchester - Blackburn - Clitheroe line, the Manchester Airport- Blackpool North as well as many others across the county.

The new train rota has led to delays and cancellations on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Northern services, which has angered passengers.

Following the announcement, David Brown, managing director at Northern, apologised to the operator's customers.

A GTR spokesman said new services are being added "incrementally" due to the "scale and complexity of the task" which involves redeploying drivers and trains as well as changing operating practices.

"We know the situation isn't good enough and for that we are truly sorry".

Yes, Rail North - now Transport for the North - has finally received some policy powers but the latest problems can not be blamed on local leaders. "Our customers deserve better and that's what we're focused on delivering".

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Barry White, chief executive of TfN, said: "We are extremely disappointed and concerned with the inadequate performance of Northern".

"We are working closely with train companies to drive down cancellations and will support Network Rail and the wider industry in delivering these significant improvements".

"Northern is running hundreds more services now compared to last week, helping deliver the biggest change to rail timetables in a generation", he said.

He insisted sorting out Northern services was his "number one performance priority".

The Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "We're investing in the biggest modernisation of the rail network since Victorian times to improve services for passengers across the country".

"Both Transport for the North and the Department for Transport, through the Rail North Partnership, will be monitoring progress against the plan on a daily basis".

But now Transport for the North (TfN), the statutory body covering the region, says a package has been drawn up to address ongoing performance issues.

To help keep you on the move during RMT strike action on Thursday 24 and Saturday 26 May we will run as many services as possible each day.

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