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Rail misery continues for commuters in the North

Delays: A Northern
Rail train yesterday
near Hunts Cross
station, Liverpool PICTURE: PA

FRUSTRATED rail passengers continued to suffer hold-ups yesterday, despite more trains running.

Operator Northern restored 75 per cent of 168 services that were axed as an emergency measure when new timetables sparked disruption in May.

But the Northern Fail app — developed by a long-suffering commuter — reported that, by 10am, 53 trains had either been cancelled or were not running to plan.

The delays across Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire and Yorkshire caused particular annoyance for passengers at Liverpool Lime Street station, which had reopened after eight weeks of upgrade work.

One tweeted: ‘First day back after two months of the Lime Street closures and the associated travel chaos and my train is cancelled ??????????’

Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has written to Theresa May saying services continue to be poor, despite transport secretary Chris Grayling claiming the issue is his No.1 priority. Asked if Mr Grayling should be sacked, Mr Burnham told BBC Radio 4: ‘Yes, ultimately, because he’s just not doing enough.’

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership said the timetable problems had cost businesses almost £38million.

A government spokesman said the reinstated services were ‘in addition to further adjustments to timetables to improve reliability’. He added: ‘Andy Burnham sits on the board of Transport for the North, which jointly manages the Northern franchise.’

RMT union members will today stage the third in a series of strikes on South Western Railway in a dispute over the role of guards. Further stoppages are planned for the next three Saturdays.