Dear officials, Northern rail routes are not ‘valueless’ – your government is | Lisa Nandy
Emails passed to me reveal the transport department’s contempt for passengers as a changed timetable causes misery
• Lisa Nandy is the Labour MP for Wigan
For four weeks, as Northern rail passengers have struggled with delayed, cancelled and overcrowded trains, ministers have been at pains to tell us how much they care. The prime minister expressed “tremendous sympathy”. The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, declared from the despatch box that “commuters in the north are as important as commuters in the south”.
If he means it, it seems he hasn’t convinced his own department. Emails from within the Department for Transport, released under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI), were handed to me by a passenger group this week. They describe our key northern routes as lacking “value” and discuss how to fob off MPs and passenger groups who raise complaints, such as being forced to “drag heavy bags between stations”, because officials in London have cancelled and diverted vital rail services without bothering to consult those of us who use them.
Related: People don’t want railways to be political totems. They just want them to work | Andrew Adonis
Related: ‘Yours cynically’: emails show DfT contempt for rail users, says MP
Source: Guardian Transport
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