Department for Transport
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Northern franchise enters new future

The government to rebuild passenger confidence as it takes over running services across the Northern rail network.

  • government operator takes over running of services on Northern network
  • Northern leaders from Manchester, Liverpool, Tees Valley and Yorkshire will join panel to advise new operator on priorities for new Northern franchise
  • operator will work with local leaders, industry and passenger representatives to deliver a plan for improvements after first 100 days

The government yesterday (1 March 2020) took over the running of services across the Northern network, marking a new start for the future of the franchise.

Demonstrating the government’s commitment to rebuild passenger confidence and put their priorities first, the government operator has launched a new panel to provide ongoing advice on how services will be run. Political leaders including Andy Burnham from Manchester and Judith Blake from Leeds will be joined by regional leaders, passenger representatives and industry leaders on the panel, which will be led by Richard George, the chairman of the operator.

The government has also announced that overcrowding on Northern’s network will be a priority focus for improvement, with new technology being trialled to identify crowding pinch points. Work is underway to extend platforms at 30 stations across the network to allow for longer trains and improve journeys for passengers.

Capacity will be further boosted with the roll-out of more electric trains across the network next year, in addition to the extra capacity already being delivered by the new fleet. A major deep cleaning program also commenced yesterday, along with an overhaul of on-board cleanliness, to make sure carriages meet the high standards passengers deserve.

Click here for the full press release


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