THE YORKSHIRE Post is grateful to Diana Johnson MP for raising the One North transport campaign in Parliament – and the discourtesy of Theresa May and Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, in still not replying to the unprecedented joint editorial published by newspapers across this region on June 5 which made a number of policy demands, including proper compensation for passengers.
A persistent campaigner on this issue, the Hull North MP knows that the chaos on the railways is unacceptable. Likewise Transport for the North chairman John Cridland who described the timetable chaos as a “crisis”. And so, too, do all those passengers disrupted this week when TransPennine Express joined operator Northern in cancelling services across the region.
However Commons leader Andrea Leadsom’s ineffectual response to Ms Johnson showed that the Government simply does not grasp the mounting anger here as ongoing disruption, forecast to continue until November, hits all aspects of life.
Business questions is a weekly occasion when MPs regularly ask Ms Leadsom to use her influence to elicit a response on key issues and she is often amenable. However, in this instance, she advised backbenchers to raise relevant issues at transport questions in the Commons next Thursday.
There’s just one snag. These will be taken by Mr Grayling who says that he “doesn’t run the railways”. Yet, with the Transport Select Committee confirming the scale of the North-South funding divide, and then yesterday’s shambolic Transport for the North meeting when compensation arrangements of sort were agreed, the Government’s mishandling of rail policy becomes more inadequate with every cancelled train.
Now Downing Street’s inertia over One North can be added to the failings.