MP wants more trains for Sunderland and Newcastle fans to get to the match

Guy Opperman

Guy Opperman

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A TORY MP has called for more trains to transport Sunderland fans to matches.

Hexham MP Guy Opperman criticised operators for failing to meet passenger needs by being flexible or meeting capacity.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he said: “All the rail companies that we have to deal with as we develop and move forward are not looking at what the customer wants.

“They are working out what they want to do, not what the customer wants to do.

“Let me give an isolated, easy example. A plethora of fans want to support Newcastle United or Sunderland on a match day, including Saturday.

“People might think that it would be obvious for a rail company to lay on extra trains or carriages to entitle people to do that and travel in the right way, but that is not happening.”

Mr Opperman called on Transport Ministers to speak to operator Northern Rail about “the extent to which it can become more flexible, so that we can have a better, more functional rail system.”

The MP was taking part in a debate on improving rail services in the North East.

MPs are examining the “northern hub,” aimed at getting towns and cities working better together to drive growth.

“They say this will be done by increasing the capacity of services and reducing journey times.