The Yorkshire Post says: Theresa May must act over North's rail chaos. Time for the PM to intervene

AS passengers endured another torrid day on the region's railways, they have every reason to ask who has ultimate responsibility for transport policy after it emerged that disruption on Northern's shambolic services is likely to last for 'a number of weeks'.

The Yorkshire Post's Graeme Bandeira's take on the rail crisis.

It’s certainly not the train operators, Network Rail and others whose poor planning has contributed to this crisis – they still appear to be in denial about the scale of inconvenience being suffered by their passengers and have yet to offer any extra recompense of note.

It does not appear to be Jake Berry, the Northern Powerhouse Minister, who should have been using his position – and supposed influence – to highlight the economic and reputational damage being suffered by the region which is so intrinsic to his policy brief.

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And it’s certainly not Transport Secretary Chris Grayling whose contemptible ‘don’t blame me’ missive, sent to the North’s MPs on Wednesday, vindicated The Yorkshire Post’s repeated calls for his resignation.

If the buck does not stop with Mr Grayling, a Minister who has received next to no public support from normally acquiescent Tory MPs in recent days, it leaves only one person – Theresa May.

Though Mrs May was in denial about her Transport Secretary’s culpability when confronted at Prime Minister’s Questions last month by Halifax MP Holly Lynch, she can be in no doubt now about how this political train wreck is ruining the Government’s reputation in these parts – her chief whip, Julian Smith MP, represents Skipton and Ripon.

Mrs May should also know that Tony Blair and David Cameron, would have summoned rail chiefs, political leaders and business representatives to 10 Downing Street by now to attempt to sort out the mess.

As it becomes clear this is another example, after the collapse of the East Coast franchise, of a rail operator over-promising and under-delivering, she needs to do likewise.

After all, the statement from Northern’s managing director David Brown that his company has “agreed a number of actions with the Department for Transport” offers no reassurance – these are the organisations that planned a new timetable with insufficient staff and trains as well as incomplete engineering work. And if Mrs May won’t show the leadership expected of her, just who does she suggest? Passengers here would like to know.