Our problem as Northern rail passengers is that we don’t get angry – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Tina Shingler, Dragon Parade, Harrogate.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is bringing the Northern rail franchise back under public control.

I HAVE not long heard about the big pay rise that bosses at Arriva received before they lost the Northern franchise (The Yorkshire Post, January 30).

At the time I was standing cheek by jowl (literally) on an overcrowded train I had just boarded in Harrogate bound for Leeds.

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new rolling stock did not lead to improvements in Northern's performance.

Once again the 7.30 London train had been cancelled so this meant Platform 3 in Harrogate was loaded with two sets of passengers waiting for the 7.46 to Leeds which – unlike many other days recently – had not been cancelled.

So, yes, the 7.46 is running but as the train trundles into the station we’re dismayed to see there are only two carriages.

The restless crowd on the platform murmur and groan. We all rush to find the best vantage point from where we can get a seat. Many of us are unlucky. Actually getting on the train seems unlikely.

Less than half of Northern trains have been running on time according to the latest performance data.

Trying to commute with Northern between York and Leeds has become a game of chance. Walking into Harrogate station each morning is like walking into a casino in Las Vegas. You never know if it’s going to be your lucky day.

Staff at the station and those on the train are, as ever, apologetic and embarrassed. It’s not their fault. But they, not the bosses, get all the moans and groans from passengers.

Perhaps that’s the problem. In England we don’t get angry we just get disgruntled. In France, commuters would have completely disrupted the appalling service long ago. So now Northern has lost its franchise. But I understand we still have many more weeks of chaotic service to come from them before the Government takes over on March 1.

After all, if they had no respect for us before, now they have absolutely no incentive to keep their customers satisfied.

From: Steve Pearse, Great Barugh, Malton.

WOULD it not be appropriate to ask, how, yet again, the cost of HS2 has been allowed to spiral to such an extent? The latest projected cost is now accepted to be over £100bn, more than double the initial projection.

I have no doubt t HS2 will be built. Hopefully, after all the upset it will create, I hope it will deliver on the promises of creating additional job opportunities in our area through the building/infrastructure process and afterwards with the easier transport links.

But we all know it will not be delivered on time.