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TransPennine trains update: Commuters in the north faced an even worse rail woes on Thursday after more than 100 Transpennine trains were canceled or suspended in a single day.
The 123 cancellations and interrupted services caused massive overcrowding on the line, occurring on the same day Rishi Sunak was touting a leveling-up policy.
Passengers struggling to get to work were left stranded after operators canceled 93 services by 9 a.m. on Thursday, but a few more after 73 services were canceled on Wednesday. Ten travelers faced confusion.
TransPennine Express continues to cite staff and driver shortages, prolonged illness and strikes as underlying problems behind the disastrous service.
Commuters crossing the north from Liverpool to Hull have long complained about a substandard rail system, but more trains were canceled this week, prompting ministers to release fresh funding for leveling up. Since we announced it, it has become a clearer focus.
The prime minister is touring the north of the country on Thursday to raise awareness of his upgrading programme, which has seen more than 100 projects receive a share of £2.1bn in government funding.
Labor has criticized the second round of distribution of the Equalization Fund, which it claims has moved more cash to London and the South East than to the north.
While Mr Sunak and some of his ministers traveled to all parts of the UK as part of an effort to push the upgrade announcement, Labor Lady Diana Johnson stressed in the House of Commons: A more reliable service than TransPennine Express”.
Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haig has now branded the service “worse than ever” as it demands that the operator’s First Group be stripped of its contract and bring the network in-house as an operator of last resort. was pressed.
Railways Minister Hugh Merriman said the Transpennine Express is struggling due to a shortage of drivers, with 14 percent out of work due to illness, and drivers out of work in the wake of the pandemic. It has hired 115 more drivers, but their training will take 18 months, he added.
The contract to operate the network will be renewed in May, but he argued other operators would face the same challenges as First Group.