AT least Yorkshire’s train services have returned to some semblance of normality following the snow chaos – and then the latest RMT-orchestrated strike action.
It’s about the only thing that can be said in their favour after another dismal week made worse by Transport Secretary’s Chris Grayling ineptitude and failure, with every utterance, to understand the North’s needs.
Yet, rather than coming up with a fantasy land plan to build a hyperloop between Leeds Bradford Airport and the city centre, the Cabinet minister needs to be tackling more pressing problems with new technology – namely the number of trains in service on the region’s railways that have haphazard access to wi-fi and, therefore, prevent commuters from working while they travel.
As Jamie Martin, managing partner of top Leeds law firm Ward Hadaway, says in The Yorkshire Post, enhanced digital connectivity will provide some compensation to travellers when services are delayed or cancelled. “Public transport needs to offer the opportunity of maximising time to all passengers,” he said following the publication of landmark research by Global Wireless Solutions.
With German manufacturer Siemens proposing a new train manufacturing plant near Goole, and the Government supposedly committed to improving the nation’s productivity, Mr Grayling should, if he has any sense at all, be making free wi-fi access a condition of all rail franchises. The problem is that the Department for Transport has become bereft of common sense on his watch.