Scarborough's Green Party councillors urge government to overhaul railways after year of 'woeful' service

Scarborough's Green Party councillors have urged the government to overhaul Yorkshire's railways and put rail users first.

By Corinne Macdonald
Friday, 3rd January 2020, 10:34 am
Updated Friday, 3rd January 2020, 10:35 am
Left Cllr Will Forbes, and right, Cllr Neil Robinson. Pictures by Richard Ponter
Left Cllr Will Forbes, and right, Cllr Neil Robinson. Pictures by Richard Ponter

Green Councillors Will Forbes and Neil Robinson, both for Falsgrave and Stepney ward, have called for a radical overhaul of rail across Yorkshire following another year of “woeful” service for rail users using Scarborough Railway Station.

They are both also calling for a halt of the annual rail fare increases, which rose by up to 2.7 per cent yesterday after a year of underperformance by Transpennine Express.

The most recent performance figures released by Transpennine show that between November 10 and December 7 2019, less than 40 per cent of its trains arrived within a minute of their scheduled time.

The Green Party is also demanding that both TransPennine and Northern – the region's other largest train operator - step up their game and ensure rail services are adequately staffed.

Councillor Will Forbes said: “2019 has been another year of woeful performance on our rail network in and around Scarborough and rail users deserve better.

“TransPennine have made a big performance of their new trains but at this point most rail users are just happy if the train turns up.

“We are increasingly being told that many services are being cancelled because of a lack of staff – it is pretty basic stuff.

"They have had years to recruit and train new staff. We wouldn’t tolerate shops not opening because they didn’t have enough staff to open so why do the management of the train lines think this is ok.”

Yesterday (January 2), Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on BBC Breakfast he intended to strip Northern of its franchise due to 'really bad' services.

Department for Transport officials later clarified that Northern could continue to operate services through a new, short-term contract.