Train operator Northern blasted again over weekend train cancellations

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Train operator Northern has come under fire once more after another weekend of cancellations.

The firm has struggled to have enough staff to cover services and towns from Blackpool to Liverpool and Manchester have seen passengers left stranded.

Northern has invested 500m in 101 new trains, but has been criticised over weekend cancellations

Northern has invested 500m in 101 new trains, but has been criticised over weekend cancellations

Now Liverpool city mayor Steve Rotheram has called for the firm to lose the franchise.

After the latest Sunday cancellations he said: “This is simply unacceptable and to find out with minimal notice only makes the situation worse.”

Blackpool based rail champion for disable travellers Stephen Brookes today said the cancellations had been putting people off coming to the town.

He said: “Blackpool has suffered massively. People booking assisted travel cannot depend on that being available, simply because the trains are not available. They cannot trust the trains to get them here or get them home.”

A spokesman for Northern said: “Each week, we are having to adjust our Sunday timetable and as a result, our on-board crew rosters, on a small number of routes in the North West.

"There are a number of factors impacting on our ability to run these services, including engineering work and being able to match employees’ availability within their working agreements.

“We do not cancel services lightly and routes with cancelled Sunday service are chosen carefully to minimise the impact on customers.

"On each of the affected routes, our customers will have a range of alternative options available to them including other Northern services, trains run by other operators or rail replacement road transport. All routes with pre-planned cancellations are advertised via the Northern website each Friday.”