APPARENTLY consideration is being given to splitting the Northern franchise into North East and North West parts. Railfuture Yorkshire urges that nothing should happen until the recommendations of the Williams Review are published. For our part, we can see several flaws in the proposals.
1. Whoever is promoting them seems unaware that the NE and Yorkshire are now generally considered as separate regions. Yorkshire is a region in its own right.
2. Northern does not run any train services from Yorkshire to the NE apart from the Whitby branch.
3. If, and it is a big if, the franchise is to be split, then there may be logic in the true NE having its own franchise, but no logic in splitting the central Pennine core. There are six Northern passenger routes from Yorkshire to the North West, and these routes are equally as important for people living in Yorkshire as for those in Greater Manchester and Lancashire. Trains are crewed and stabled at both ends of these inter-regional routes.
Changes are needed, but they must be the right ones to create a bigger, better and more reliable railway. People and the planet need it.