West Yorkshire Combined Authority presses for further rail service improvements

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has pressed rail operators to continue to improve services to ensure they contribute positively to the region’s economic ambitions.

Representatives of TransPennine Express and Northern attended the Combined Authority’s meeting today to explain their plans to improve punctuality and reliability and for the introduction of new rolling stock.

Members of the Combined Authority raised concerns about issues including the withdrawal of Pacer trains, services with too few carriages and communication with passengers.

Cllr Judith Blake, Transport Lead for the Combined Authority and Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This was a valuable opportunity to get over to the operators the ongoing frustration of passengers across our region and discuss how we can work together productively to drive the improvements we all want.

“We have seen the impact on people and businesses of the disruption in recent months and we want to see the operators, and Network Rail, deliver on the ambition for rail set out in these franchises."

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We made clear that while service levels have improved since the chaos of last summer that there is still a long way to go to restore the trust of passengers and deliver what our communities and our economy need.

“The Combined Authority is investing to encourage people to use public transport, including rail, and we need the operators and Network Rail to fully play their part.”

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: “The rail network is hugely important to our economy which is why we have invested in three new stations and are developing plans for more alongside enhancements to existing station facilities including Bradford Interchange and Bradford Forster Square.

“Passengers are expecting to see significant improvements this year, including the withdrawal of Pacer trains, and will expect the operators and Network Rail to meet those expectations.”

14 Feb 2019

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