Rail commuters across Yorkshire hit with train delays and cancellations after timetable introduction

Rail commuters are being hit with more delays and cancellations amid the introduction of new timetables.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 11:14 am

Four out of 10 (39%) TransPennine Express (TPE) services up to 10am on Wednesday were cancelled or at least half an hour late, figures published by rail data website trains.im showed.

It is the fourth day of disruption on the firm's network - which runs across the north of England and into Scotland - since new timetables were launched on Sunday.

TPE's website stated that the cancellations are due to train faults and a crew shortage.

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Among the stations on affected routes are Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Airport, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

The firm is running a pre-planned temporary reduced timetable on some routes after a maintenance backlog and infrastructure problems delayed staff training on new trains.

Passengers attempting to travel with operator Northern are also facing a struggle to complete their journeys on Wednesday.

As of 10am, only two out of every three services (67%) arrived at their destination within five minutes of the scheduled time.

Earlier this week, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham urged the Government to show it is "serious about supporting the North" by stripping Northern of its franchise, adding that

TransPennine Express should face the same action if its performance does not improve.

Industry body the Rail Delivery Group has denied the disruption affecting Britain's railways this week is related to the new timetables.

Train timetables are changed twice a year, in May and December, with the infamous botched change of May 2018 leading to weeks of chaos.

On Monday, Transpennine Express and Northern apologised to customers following a significant number of cancellations and delays caused havoc for rail commuters on the first working day of the new train timetables.

Managing director Leo Goodwin said: "I am really sorry for the disruption to our customers journeys. I know what a busy time it is whether people are trying to get to work, trying to get home to see school plays, visiting loved ones or trying to go out and enjoy their Christmas parties.

“Due to a number of issues with crew training caused by the late delivery of some of our new trains, along with a maintenance backlog and some infrastructure issues we have had to implement a temporary timetable, cancelling some journeys along one of our routes. This has unfortunately made a number of other services a lot busier. We are working really hard to sort this for our customers and as we introduce more new trains we should see an improvement to people’s journeys.”