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New MPs hit out at ‘shambles’ train services

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Image caption, Transport Secretary Louise Haigh has pledged to bring all train services on Britain’s railways into public ownership

  • Author, Emma Stanley & PA Media
  • Role, BBC News

Several newly-elected Labour MPs have criticised the reliability of train services after suffering disruption during journeys to take their seats in the House of Commons.

The politicians took to X to complain as they travelled to London ahead of Parliament sitting on Tuesday for the first time since the general election.

Paul Foster, MP for South Ribble in Lancashire, wrote: “Day One on my way to Parliament and guess what… AvantiWestCoast go and cancel my train just as I get to Preston station”. He added it was an “utter shambles”.

The rail company said: “We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to our customers with some of our train services being cancelled.”

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Mr Foster also posted an image of a departures board showing the cancellation of a 06:00 BST train to London Euston.

Another disgruntled Avanti West Coast passenger was Claire Hughes, MP for Bangor Aberconwy, who wrote: “In news that will shock absolutely no-one, my AvantiWestCoast train down to London for my first day in Westminster has been cancelled.”

“That’ll be my train too,” replied Andrew Ranger, who was elected to represent Wrexham, adding “we have another thing to add to the list of things to tackle”.

During the election campaign, Transport Secretary Louise Haigh said that, if Labour won, the party would urgently consider stripping Avanti West Coast of its contract due to its “woeful service” on the West Coast Main Line.

She has pledged to bring all train services on Britain’s railways into public ownership.

Josh Fenton-Glynn, MP for Calder Valley, suffered disruption while travelling with Northern, which is already controlled by the Department for Transport.

‘Work to be done’

He posted an image at 09:24 BST of himself at Hebden Bridge station in Yorkshire, with the caption: “On my way to London! I’m so excited to be starting a journey to be the voice in Westminster for the Calder Valley communities I love.”

In a subsequent post eight minutes later, he added: “In news that will shock absolutely no one, my northernassist train is delayed.”

Henry Tufnell, MP for Mid and South Pembrokeshire, who travelled to the capital on Sunday, posted: “Heading to London and excited to begin work as the MP for Mid & South Pembrokeshire.

“Unfortunately the journey involves no direct trains from #Pembrokeshire and a delayed GWRHelp train via Gloucester. Lots of work to be done…”

Northern apologised and said staff sickness and industrial relations issues were having an “impact”.

“We are working hard with our colleagues and other train operators to improve service reliability,” a spokesman said.

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Read More: New MPs hit out at ‘shambles’ train services

2024-07-08 18:59:13

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