Rails firms say lessons will be learned from summer timetable chaos.

How the Gazette reported the summer rail issues
How the Gazette reported the summer rail issues

Network Rail and Northern have both apologised once more for the rail chaos which caused misery for tens of thousands of passengers in the county over the summer.

Their comments come after an Office for Rail and Road report blasting all organisations in the rail industry for the widespread cancellations and delays said "nobody took charge".

Northern has said it wants to learn the lessons from the chaos

Northern has said it wants to learn the lessons from the chaos

The investigation by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) regulator into the May timetable change concluded Network Rail, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), Northern, the Department for Transport and the ORR itself all made mistakes.

Now the Government has said a major review of Britain's railways has been launched led by Keith Williams - deputy chairman of John Lewis and former chief executive of British Airways - who will be supported by an external panel.

A spokesman for Northern Rail said: "Northern is deeply sorry for the unacceptable disruption caused to our customers in the north west of England following the introduction of the new timetable on Sunday 20 May 2018. We apologise unreservedly to our customers who did not receive the service they deserve in affected areas.

"Our team worked hard to stabilise services by putting in place an interim timetable on some routes in North-West England from 4 June 2018, withdrawing 165 of our 2,800 daily services on a temporary basis to provide more certainty to customers. We have reinstated 151 of those 165 services. Punctuality has also steadily improved, with 87% of services arriving on schedule over the first two weeks of September 2018.

"Customers holding season tickets are receiving compensation for the disruption they experienced under a special scheme – and last week the Department for Transport announced that the Delay Repay compensation scheme would be improved from December.

""Northern will now consider in detail the findings in the ORR Report. We want to learn the lessons of the May timetable disruption and will be working closely with other organisations across the rail industry to ensure new timetabling is implemented as effectively as possible for customers in the future."

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Today, I’d like to add my sincerest apologies to passengers for letting them down with May’s timetable troubles.

"A whole system approach to timetable planning must be the way ahead and we have already started on that path with the new winter timetable due in December that will see some modest improvements.

"This approach will continue as we look to ensure that passengers see the benefit of record investment and new services, welcoming them with confidence rather than concern.”


See also: Lack of communication made summer rail chaos worse