North East MP slams Durham Coastline Northern Rail, calling it worst train service in the UK
A North East MP has slammed the Durham Coastline Northern Rail service, calling it a ‘second-rate’ service after a weekend of disruption.
Easington MP Grahame Morris hit out at the service after saying overcrowding left a number of passengers on the platform in Seaham.
The Easington MP believes the public has lot faith in the railway service and raised concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and the current fuel crisis.
He said: “Levelling up is a sham. Northern Rail’s Durham Coastline is a second-rate rail service failing in its most fundamental function. The public has lost faith, and the responses I have received from the Government shows a clear indifference to the problems.
“Looking at people crammed into two carriages, standing on top of each other, it is easy to forget that we are living with a deadly pandemic taking more than 100 lives a day. As we have seen across the whole economy, the Government has failed to prepare and invest, and the public pays the price. In the current petrol crisis, switching to public transport for many people in East Durham is not an option because of our second-rate overcrowded trains.
“Our infrastructure is completely sub-standard with 1980s British Rail Pacer trains being replaced by 1980s refurbished British Rail Sprinter trains. It is a double insult to have sub-standard rolling stock that cannot accommodate the number of passengers who want to use the service.”
Mr Morris is also calling on affected passengers to know their rights and claim compensation against Northern Rail.
He added: “There is no competition, accountability or responsibility on our rail network. People are voting with their feet by seeking more reliable methods of transport. Frustrated passengers often rip up tickets, but I encourage people to use their consumer rights and seek compensation. The Government should set a minimum compensation level as change will only come when it hits train operators bottom line.”
A spokesperson for Northern, said: “We apologise to any customers who have experienced overcrowding or disruption to their journeys.
“The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a significant impact on many industries, including the rail network, and we are doing all we can to provide the best possible service for customers in extremely difficult circumstances.”