Northern rail stripped of franchise which runs Lincolnshire services

Northern, which serves a number of railway stations in Lincolnshire, has been stripped of its franchise and renationalised.

The ailing company will be taken into pubic ownership on March 1, 2020, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Wednesday, January 29.

The public sector Department for Transport operator, which already manages the LNER franchise, will take over from current operator Arriva Rail North following “unacceptable performance”.

Grant Shapps also told Parliament that he would take action against Northern by the end of January after he was told the failing franchise’s financial situation would mean it could not continue for more than a few months.

Reliability problems have placed the company under fire consistently for years, particularly since major timetabling chaos across the north of England in 2018.

Complaints, cancellations and disruption have marred the reputation of services.

Office of Rail and Road figures showed just 56% of Northern trains arrived at stations within one minute of the timetable in the 12 months to December 7, compared with the average across Britain of 65%.

Northern serves routes across Lincolnshire, including the Lincoln to Sheffield line and the Barton-on-Humber to Cleethorpes service.

“This is a new beginning for Northern, but it is only a beginning,” said Mr Shapps in a statement.

“Northern’s network is huge and complex, some of the things which are wrong are not going to be quick or easy to put right. Nevertheless, I am determined that Northern passengers see real and tangible improvements across the network as soon as possible.”

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