Rail Passengers are being forced to cram into toilets on packed services while others face the threat of losing their jobs as delays and cancellations continue in the North, an MP has said.
Rail Minister Jo Johnson said yesterday Northern rail services were “beginning to turn the corner” following timetabling chaos, with 80 per cent of services running on time since under the interim timetable, compared to 66 per cent under the botched May schedule.
But Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin, who spoke to commuters at her local station on Friday: said she was “startled” at “how chaotic and unreliable” services still are.
Ms Brabin said she heard stories of passengers crammed into carriages “like sardines”, with one commuter forced to stand in the toilet alongside six others.
One passenger, who has lost two hours of leisure time away from his job due to the rail chaos, warned that the situation was “threatening the livelihoods of many” who are struggling to get to work, Ms Brabin said.
Meanwhile, Northern leaders could be given extra powers over the railways in times of crisis under proposals being taken “very seriously” by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.
Mr Grayling, who survived a vote of no confidence vote in the House of Commons yesterday, responded positively to calls from senior Tory MP Sir Michael Fallon for the Transport Secretary to be given stronger powers to direct rail companies during disruption.
These could include ordering extra stops on certain services.
Responsibility for rail in the region is shared with Transport for the North (TfN) and so any new powers could be split with Westminster.
Labour said Mr Grayling’s credibility would “never recover” after the recent chaos.