Transport secretary accused of suffering from ‘tin ear’ over rail in North
From the Morning Star: Transport Secretary Chris Grayling was accused of suffering from “tin ear” and “memory loss” when he told the Commons that rail services in northern England were improving.
Mr Grayling said northern rail networks were delivering “more services rather than few,” despite one of the worst weeks of rail chaos in the north since new timetables were introduced in May.
He was responding to Mary Creagh, Labour MP for Wakefield in West Yorkshire, one of the areas affected, who accused him of “showing a bit of a tin ear to the lived experience” of her constituents.
She said it took one constituent six hours to complete a 75-mile rail journey in Yorkshire — “a feat that with a good wind I could have achieved on a bicycle in the same amount of time.”
Rail union RMT northern organiser John Tilley told the Morning Star: “Not only is Chris Grayling tin-eared to the plight of rail passengers in the north, he is also losing his memory.” He said Mr Grayling had cancelled northern rail investment projects such as electrification of the Trans Pennine route and two extra platforms at Manchester Piccadilly station.
“To be telling the House of Commons that there are more trains to run in the north, in the same week that we are witnessing another meltdown of services, and on some lines in the north, where all trains are cancelled with a full week of bus replacements, is breathtaking,” Mr Tilley added.