Cruel summer for Northern rail passengers

Northern rail train
Northern rail train

Commuters using an early morning Northern rail service have endured a summer of misery.

The 6.16am service from Sheffield to Leeds has been cancelled 18 times since the start of July according to David Young, a passenger representative on West Yorkshire Combined Authority's (WYCA) Wakefield committee.

He says passengers using the service, which calls at Moorthorpe, Fitzwilliam, Sandal and Agbrigg, Wakefield Westgate and Outwood, are taking their frustrations out on staff at the stations.

He said: "Tensions are very high at stations at the moment. Passengers are coming to loggerheads with the staff and shouting at them.

"It's obviously not their fault if a train's cancelled but there's no-one else you can talk to."

Mr Young also said trains are late and some commuters are left standed on platforms as the carriages are full.

He also said further strikes by Northern, scheduled for this Saturday, August 25, September 1 and September 8, will make the situation worse.

The botched introduction of a new timetable in May was blamed for hundreds of cancellations and delays across the north. As a result, a number of services were temporarily pulled while operator Northern tried to get a grip of the problems.

But despite most of those services being reinstated, passengers are still facing problems on a daily basis.

Mr Young has asked for a full explanation from Northern about why the service is constantly cancelled but has yet to receive a reply.

The company has been approached for comment but has not yet responded.

Mr Young added: "A lot of people who would normally get on the train have given up and now chosen to drive into Leeds, using the park and ride.