Northern has reacted to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) Interim Inquiry report by expressing its ‘deep sorrow’ for the disruption caused during changes to its timetables.
The regulator of England’s railways has released its interim report, which reveals that mistakes were made by many, including Northern, leading to the collapse of services on these routes.
It found that passenger needs were not prioritised, and were actually secondary to the engineering and planning concerns, and once the disruption began after the 20 May interim timetable was put in place, the information given to passengers to keep the up to date was substandard.
The train operating company accepted that the disruption was “unacceptable” and say that the ORR’s findings in the report will now be considered.
A statement from Northern, said: “Northern is deeply sorry for the unacceptable disruption caused to our customers in the north west of England following the introduction of the new timetable on Sunday 20 May 2018.
“We apologise unreservedly to our customers who did not receive the service they deserve in affected areas.
“Northern accepts that many customers had insufficient information about disruption following the introduction of the May timetable and is committed to significantly improving information for customers.
“This includes investing over £5 million on new information screens and public address systems and stations to improve the provision of information for customers.
“Northern will now consider in detail the findings in the ORR report. We want to learn the lessons of the May timetable disruption and will be working closely with other organisations across the rail industry to ensure new timetabling is implemented as effectively as possible for customers in the future.”
Since the disruption, which led to the implementation of an interim timetable at the start of June and the withdrawal of 165 daily services, Northern has confirmed 151 of these have been reinstated and, in the first couple of weeks of September, 87% of services arrived on schedule.