Dewsbury MP grills transport Minister over rail delays

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West Yorkshire MP Paula Sherriff has secured a meeting with a Transport Minister about local rail issues after what she described as "five months of ducking-and-diving meetings".

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The Labour MP posted details on Facebook after meeting last week with rail Minister Jo Johnson.

In her online post, she wrote: "Since I first requested a meeting many months ago, local people have endured the highest fare increase in the country, poor station accessibility and sliding service standards on our railways.

"I raised the issue of punctuality - one service from Dewsbury Station has only been on time 26 per cent of journeys since the start of the year. I stressed the need for improvements, especially in light of Yorkshire being faced with the country's biggest fare increase.

"I also talked about how appalled I am that despite Virgin's failure to be able to sustain a service on the East Coast Main Line, they will have further opportunity to bid for same contract, even in light of £2bn government bailout of Virgin East Coast.

"With new services due to begin on the Leeds-Huddersfield line in May, I’ll continue doing all I can to ensure that local concerns are heard and Tory ministers are held to account for their constant assurances that improvements to services will eventually arrive."

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Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has previously boasted of carrying out "the biggest investment in the North for a generation" and says the Government are committed to improving rail links to boost the Northern Powerhouse.

His department said last year that it is investing over £1 billion to upgrade one of the largest rail networks in the country by 2020 through the 'Great North Rail Project'.

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