Fylde MP Mark Menzies demands action on train cancellations

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has called on the Government to force Northern Rail to fix the appalling timetabling issues that have blighted the South Fylde rail line - leading to a reduction in services.

In Parliament, Mr Menzies tackled Secretary of State Chris Grayling about the matter.

He said: "For over six months, my constituents have been using bus services during electrification of the Blackpool to Preston railway line.

"The current chaos therefore comes at the worst possible time when people were looking forward to a good service, and they are absolutely gutted.

"Can the Secretary of State assure me that they will be able to enjoy the multi-million pound investment that has gone in?

"When will he put the full force of his weight behind Northern Rail to make sure that it fixes this problem now? Can my constituents look forward to getting the railway that they had hoped for?"

Mr Grayling told him: "My hon. Friend puts his finger on the frustrations. On his line, the disruption has been a result of long overdue investment in improvements for the future and a commitment to railways in the north.

"It is a tragedy that the electrification delay has had such disastrous effects for timetabling across the whole area.

"We need to sort out these problems in the short term. We need to get the electrification of his route up and running as quickly as possible so that all the improvements that were planned actually happen."

Last Friday, Northern Rail announced an interim timetable to run until the end of July, reducing the number of services it operates by 165 per day, following a series of cancellations across the North West.

Mr Menzies said: "I'm a rail user myself and understand exactly how frustrating these rail delays and cancellations are for my constituents.

"The electrification works have been planned for years; even taking any delays into account, this is down to poor planning from Northern Rail.

"It is completely unacceptable. I have also written to Northern Rail again to express my disappointment at the level of service on this line, and to fight for my constituents' rights.

"My constituents pay a lot of money for rail services which simply are not being provided. This is having a dreadful effect on people's day to day lives, making what should be a simple commute a stressful and sub-standard service."

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