Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake is to represent northern leaders as part of a new initiative to address rail service standards.
Councillor Blake, who is also a member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, was among leaders who took part in a conference call with Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, today to express their dissatisfaction at the delays and disruption passengers have faced in recent days.
Councillor Blake has agreed to work with Jo Johnson, the Rail Minister, to identify measures that can improve services for passengers.
“We have been warning for some time that this major timetable change had the potential to cause severe disruption. The experiences of passengers this week compounds longer term problems including the failure to deliver promised franchise improvements on time and, ultimately, years of underinvestment in transport infrastructure in the north.
“During the conference call northern leaders left the Transport Secretary in no doubt about the real dissatisfaction across the north with this completely unacceptable state of affairs and the impact it is having on passengers. We also made clear our deep frustration with the recent poor communication by the Department of Transport and Transport for the North with ourselves about the problems.
“We will work constructively to help identify ways we can secure improvements but it is down to the Secretary of State to ensure that action is taken.”
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake