It is also a damning indictment on the quality of leadership, and management, that this month’s timetable changes have seen a repeat of the very same failures that were supposed to have been consigned to history following the turmoil which was endured throughout the summer of 2018.
And, as the Christmas getaway gathers pace, it was also ominous that three of the four worst performing train operators over the weekend – TransPennine Express, Northern and LNER – all serve this region and even prompted Transport for the North, an organisation famed for shying away from controversy, to warn these firms to ‘step up, and be open and honest’.
Yet this is no excuse – or justification – for passengers taking out their frustrations on staff after new research indicated that three out of four rail, bus and other transport workers have been victims of verbal abuse or violence in their jobs.
They, too, are also victims here because their jobs are being made infinitely harder by faceless executives who continue to hide behind the culture of excuses that has now become endemic on the region’s railways. In many respects, it is remarkable that these front line workers continue to show so much good humour, and professionalism, when they, too, have as much to complain about as the passengers that they serve.