Greater Manchester’s Mayor has described the Rail operator Northern’s emergency timetable as a flagrant breech of their franchise commitment.

Andy Burnham was responding to yesterday’s announcement from the operator that will result in 165 services everyday being axed from Monday for the next two months.

Services across Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Blackpool and the Lake District will be affected by the reductions, which the operator says will improve reliability after a fortnight of chaos which has seen hundreds of services cancelled and delayed following the introduction of a new timetable two weeks ago.

Burnham said that it was totally unacceptable that it had unilaterally decided to rewrite its timetable to suit its own means after weeks of wreaking havoc in people’s daily lives.

Northern managing director David Brown hasapologised for the “disruption” and “inconvenience” to passengers, adding

“We’re truly sorry for this and are working hard to fix this.We are absolutely committed to resolving the service issues and the interim plan will help ensure we start to get back on track and start to give customers more certainty around the services we operate.”

Services around Manchester affected include reduced services on the Kirkby to Manchester Victoria line via Wigan, and between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge while services between Blackpool North and Manchester Piccadilly will start/terminate at Manchester Oxford Road.


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