TransPennine Express debacle sparks mass condemnation of privatisation

TransPennine Express debacle sparks mass condemnation of privatisation
File:TransPennine Express 802201 at Hull, February 2019.jpg ...

The nationalisation of TransPennine Express has sparked a mass condemnation of privatisation.

The government announced it will take control of the service, which covers Manchester and Liverpool in the North of England and runs to Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, after a barrage of customer complaints of poor service and cancelled trains.

In January and February about a quarter of its services were cancelled - so it wasn't exactly doing well.

The Department for Transport said that TransPennine's contract would not be renewed on 28 May when it expires

It will now be run by an "Operator of Last Resort", which means a business will step in on behalf of the government to take over the management of the service.

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Transport Secretary Mark Harper said commuters and firms no longer had to bear "the brunt of continuous cancellations".

“In my time as transport secretary, I have been clear that passenger experience must always come first,” he said.

“This is not a silver bullet and will not instantaneously fix a number of challenges being faced, including Aslef’s actions which are preventing TransPennine Express from being able to run a full service – once again highlighting why it’s so important that the railways move to a seven-day working week.”

Here's what people had to say about the matter:

TransPennine Express owner FirstGroup said it was "disappointed" by the government's decision not to renew the contract it has run in various guises since 2004.

"Our team have worked extremely hard to improve services, including by recruiting and training more drivers than ever before," said Graham Sutherland, FirstGroup's chief executive.

"Today's decision does not alter our belief in the important role of private rail operators in the delivery of vital, environmentally-friendly transport for customers and communities across the UK."

FirstGroup will continue to run Avanti West Coast, Great Western Railway, South Western Railway, Hull Trains and Lumo.

What a palaver.

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