Still this newspaper, and others, await a full and satisfactory response from Theresa May and her Downing Street team to the unprecedented joint editorial. And far from punctuality and reliability gradually improving as train operators – and others – respond to May’s timetable turmoil, services run by Northern and TransPennine Express have continued to deteriorate.
And this makes the continuing contempt of Chris Grayling even more unforgivable after a Parliamentary inquiry confirmed yesterday that the Transport Secretary should have done more to assist passengers rather than absolving himself of direct responsibility.
Maintaining the pretence that he has apologised “many, many times” already, and does need to do so again, Mr Grayling should be coming to Yorkshire, seeing the situation for himself, justifying next month’s fare increase and saying sorry to all those passengers whose lives are still being disrupted.
They’re people who just want to get to work on time. They want to get home on time at the end of the day. And they want to be able to rely upon the trains to travel around the North. Yet these basic objectives still cannot be met because under-investment in the North’s rail network by successive governments has then been compounded by Mr Grayling’s inertia, an abject failure to hold train operators here to account for breaking franchise promises and a reluctance to give the necessary powers to Transport for the North to rectify matters.
He might still think that it is acceptable to criticise others for a scandal which continues to be masked by Brexit at a national level, but he only has himself to blame for the Government’s failure to get services back on track in the past six months and treat passengers as customers rather than an irritating inconvenience. After all, the buck stops with him – or it should do.