TransPennine Express: Blame Railways 24/7 shambles on civil servants – Yorkshire Post Letters

TransPennine Express features in a new Channel Five documentary.TransPennine Express features in a new Channel Five documentary.
TransPennine Express features in a new Channel Five documentary.
From: Roger Backhouse, Orchard Road, Upper Poppleton, York.

TOM Richmond is right to castigate TransPennine Express for poor services, but they aren’t the only culprits (The Yorkshire Post, May 20). Privatisation gave technically ignorant civil servants of the Department for Transport more control over railways than in British Rail days.

Ignoring advice they insisted that Manchester track linking Victoria Station with Piccadilly and the Airport should carry more trains, even though capacity was already stretched. So any problem magnifies delays, as shown in the TV programme Railway 24/7.

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When specifying the new IEP trains now in service with LNER, civil servants ignored advice from rolling stock companies and operators. Result – a less comfortable ride, worse seats plus slower loading.

TransPennine Express  customer experience director Kathryn O'Brien.TransPennine Express  customer experience director Kathryn O'Brien.
TransPennine Express customer experience director Kathryn O'Brien.

Unfortunately ministers never have the knowledge to challenge their civil servants. The travelling public pay the price.

One body to run railways is needed, run by those with technical knowledge at arms length from the Department for Transport. Labour had workable plans, but lost the election. Since the Prime Minister is ready to reverse policy instantly, he could do worse than dust down Labour’s ideas. They aren’t copyright.

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

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Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson