Statement by Leader of Leeds City Council following meeting with rail operators
Commenting on this morning’s appearance of representatives from Network Rail, Northern and TransPennine at today’s West Yorkshire Combined Authority meeting.
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire’s representative on the Transport for the North Board said:
“It is good that the operators and Network Rail apologised for the chaos that’s been inflicted on passengers since May and acknowledged that lessons need to be learned, however the real issue that emerged today is just how confused and fragmented our rail system is.
“Indeed, the only thing that is clear is the total lack of accountability among the companies charged with running our railways, with no one person taking ultimate responsibility for ensuring our rail system works for passengers and our economy.
“Most disturbingly, although we are now getting a clearer understanding of what went catastrophically wrong when the new timetables were introduced, neither the operators nor Network Rail were able to provide reassurance that what they are planning will improve the current abysmal service levels and deliver the promised improvements to the network and services.
“People across our region and the north are being repeatedly let down and it is having a real cost in terms of growth, jobs and the economy – not to mention a personal cost to those affected. In the absence of anyone taking control, we need Transport for the North to be given the powers to take on the role now before further damage is done.
“We will be making these points to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, this afternoon as well as restating the urgent need for significant investment in the North’s transport infrastructure.”
We work in partnership with local councils and businesses to ensure that everyone in our region benefits from a strong, successful economy and a modern, accessible transport network. By championing the region’s interests nationally and internationally, we secure the investment to deliver better transport and housing, help businesses to grow and create jobs.
The Combined Authority works in partnership with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to help businesses in our region grow and become more productive and operates the Metro-branded network of bus stations, travel centres and public transport information for West Yorkshire.
We want our region to be recognised globally as a strong, successful economy where everyone can build great businesses, careers and lives.
For more information visit www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk