Stop the excuses on the railways and start accepting responsibility – The Yorkshire Post says

IT did not require a genius to conclude that last year’s timetable fiasco was “a massive failure on the part of the rail industry” which “led to severe hardship for passengers and businesses”.

Commuters trying to board a trian at Horsforth during last year's rail chaos.

Yet, while the critique by Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake and Harrogate MP Andrew Jones, the Rail Minister, helps to understand the causes of the crisis, it does absolutely nothing to ameliorate the anger of passengers.

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Quite the opposite. Like the Rail Review being undertaken by Keith Williams who visited West Yorkshire this week, the travelling public don’t need another critique to tell them that services – and existing franchise arrangements – are unfit for purpose.

Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake co-led a review into last year's rail chaos.

They just want the reassurance that their train will be on time; that they will be able to travel with a degree of comfort and that they will be treated fairly on those occasions when services are disrupted.

It begins by the rail industry recognising the importance of good communications after the report found “neither political leaders in the North, nor Ministers, were sighted on the full implications” of the likely disruption.

Harrogate MP Andrew Jones is the current Rail Minister.


Train operators, and bodies like Network Rail, should be talking to each other as routine. They should be liaising with local authorities and others. And they should be keeping passengers – the most important people of all – informed.

The fact this is still not happening suggests that the next Transport Secretary will have their work cut out when Chris Grayling is finally replaced. They need to begin by taking – and accepting – responsibility from day one in the hope others follow their example.