The Yorkshire Post says: Listen to Yorkshire passengers over rail services

Pacer trains still operate on the Northern network.Pacer trains still operate on the Northern network.
Pacer trains still operate on the Northern network.
RAIL passengers and businesses in our region know to their cost how the inadequacies of the network impact both on working lives and the economy.

The chaos that Yorkshire commuters faced as the result of the timetabling fiasco, with some fearing for their jobs and businesses badly affected, was only the most extreme example of problems on the railways. Poor services, a lack of punctuality and overcrowding remain ever-present failings.

This makes it vital that the Government heeds today’s urging by the Campaign for Better Transport not to squander the opportunity to give passengers the service they deserve in the forthcoming rail review.

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In particular, the Government must find a way of giving the North a better deal on rail. One of the campaign group’s most telling – and indeed, damning – findings is that the railway is hampered by a one-size-fits-all attitude towards fares and investment that is biased towards the South-East.

This is unacceptable. Commuters in Yorkshire deserve no less consideration than their counterparts travelling
to work in London. 
Britain’s railways are a national network, and that should mean the Government applies common standards for funding and passener capacity across the country.

Campaigners are correct in their assertion that a properly-run railway has the potential to deliver huge economic and social benefits. They are equally right to point out that in the 25 years since privatisation, so much has changed that the time is right for a comprehensive rethink of how the network should operate.

The rail review offers a golden opportunity to get a grip on the problems and transform the service so it is fit for purpose in the 21st century. If the Government – and particularly Transport Secretary Chris Grayling – are to have any credibility on this issue, this chance to make massive improvements must not be missed.