Fylde MP Mark Menzies demands action on Northern Rail cancellations

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has blasted Northern Rail for cancelling train services for a second Sunday.

Northern bosses announced trains would only run every other hour on the South Fylde Rail line last Sunday, as it cancelled 80 of its 1,500 services on the day, due, it said, to difficulties caused by engineering works.

Mr Menzies said: "I am astounded that Northern Rail cancelled services yet again on our Blackpool South line last Sunday.

"It is simply not good enough and I have written to both Northern Rail and the Minister for Transport to ask that the matter be fully investigated.

"If Northern cannot provide the services on its timetable, it is time to bring in someone who can.

"They are really running out of excuses now – I understand there has been a lot of engineering works to improve the network, but we have had those blamed, staff holidays blamed, union stances blamed, staff sickness blamed, and the ridiculous situation whereby we were told staff do not have to work on a Sunday should they choose not to."

A spokesman for Northern said: "In these areas, ongoing engineering projects have caused severe difficulties around the short-notice scheduling of our train crews and this is the root cause of what has required us to make these planned cancellations to our main Sunday timetable."

However, Mr Menzies said: "This is no way to run rail services, especially in the summer months when we expect our businesses, our shops, hotels, cafes and restaurants, to be benefitting from tourists coming into the area by rail.

"And I will not stand for my constituents facing ever-more uncertainty about how to get to and from work and schools and nurseries to collect and drop off children.

"Northern really need to understand how simple it is – we need a reliable, clean, efficient and affordable rail service now."