MPs meet with Transport Minister over TransPennine’s ‘poor service’
Grimsby and Cleethorpes MPs met with the Department of Transport, following concern for TransPennine Express over the ongoing cancellations.
Lia Nici and Martin Vickers have previously written to the Transport Secretary calling for him to take action against Transpennine Express after a large number of cancelled services.
Passengers have reported ongoing chaos and frustration for nearly a year as many trains are cancelled last-minute by the train operator, with TPE blaming staff sickness and a training backlog.
Mr Vickers said: “I have raised this with ministers on many occasions and held frequent meetings with senior management from the company.
“In July during a House of Commons debate, I called on the Department of Transport to consider removing their franchise.”
Now, in an update shared to Lia Nici’s social media page, she shared the meeting with a brief caption, assuring constituents they are addressing the ‘poor service’, adding that Huw Merriman, the Transport Minister, ‘agreed to take further steps’.
The post read:
‘Yesterday, with colleagues from the Region, I met Transport Minister to discuss ongoing issues with TransPennine Express railways and the poor service currently being provided. He agreed to take further steps and I will provide updates soon.’
To their original inquiry, TransPennine Express responded with: “Prior to December 2021 TransPennine Express (TPE) had posted its best ever performance results, and was subsequently recognised as “Train Operator of the Year” at the Rail Business Awards.
“Since then, prolonged disruption affecting our services has been caused by a range of issues including ongoing high levels of train crew sickness, a persisting training backlog as a direct result of Covid, and infrastructure issues outside of TPE’s control.
“Combined, these factors have seen a number of on-the-day or ‘evening before’ cancellations being made.
“In normal circumstances, we have enough people to fully operate our scheduled timetable – and have more drivers now than ever before – however the combination of factors has put unprecedented pressure on our ability to effectively operate our services.
“Our customers want, and deserve, reliable and punctual train services, and we are sorry have not been able to consistently provide that due to the ongoing issues.
“TPE’s team continues to work flat-out to deliver higher levels of service delivery and to tackle the issues that are being experienced by customers.”
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