Once again, passengers in the North of England have been let down by a railway system that is not fit for purpose.
A significant number of cancellations and delays caused havoc for rail commuters yesterday, on the first working day of new train timetables.
Staff shortages, signalling problems, a landslip and ongoing industrial action were among the issues affecting Transpennine Express and Northern services.
Industry body the Rail Delivery Group insisted the problems were “unrelated” and the vast majority of trains were running as planned.
But that is of little consolation to the masses of fee-paying customers who, yet again, faced disruption, as they tried to make their way work.
After the chaotic botched timetable change in May last year, the RDG sought to reassure people ahead of this latest switch, claiming that the industry had put “years of work into drafting, consulting and planning for these changes”. But still, passengers unacceptably suffered.
Industry bosses say that passengers will now benefit from 1,000 more services a week. But only time will tell whether rail users in Yorkshire and beyond will see improvements.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told this newspaper during his election campaign that his vision for the North included better transport links. He must act fast, working with the industry, to ensure these are put in place as soon as possible.
A Northern Powerhouse needs a reliable and adequately-funded transport network – not one riddled with delays, cancellations and chronic overcrowding.