2022-11-24 06:00:20

Just how bad do Britains trains have to get before the Tories act?

Logo The Guardian
The Guardian
By Helen Pidd

I was hoping for some catharsis on Wednesday. The new secretary of state for transport, Mark Harper, was due in Manchester to deliver a keynote speech, and I was ready for him.

Secretary of state, did you pay 369.40 for a peak return on Avanti West Coast this morning? Does that seem a fair price for a journey lasting barely two hours? Did tickets only appear on Trainline a day or two beforehand, with all the cheapest options mysteriously sold out?

Did you reserve a seat only to find a train so crowded that it was declassified, with all reservations null and void? Did you have to urinate in a Pringles pot because you couldnt reach the toilets? Was the wifi broken? Was the onboard shop not accepting cards? Did you lie awake worrying whether you would actually be able to get to Manchester at all and end up thinking sod it, Ill get up at 5am and drive?

Unreliable train services in north of England ruining peoples lives

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Alas, Harper was a no-show. Instead of appearing in person at the Great Northern Conference, an annual get-together of the north of Englands business and political leaders, he popped up via video link. He was sad to not be there, he said in his pre-recorded address, but some last-minute government business had come up. He didnt say what.

Continue read on theguardian.com

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