A crowded Bolton train
A crowded Bolton train

Earlier this week it was announced that Northern were cancelling plans to change their timetables in December 2018.

After the disaster that was the May 2018 timetable it seems the rail industry does not have faith that they can make further adjustments without risking another massive failure, so the plan is now to leave everything as it is and try to make things functional first.

Of course I wouldn’t want to see another wave of mass cancellations and disruption, but it’s important to recognise that this decision will have negative effects for Bolton residents.

The December timetable was supposed to introduce extra capacity to Bolton services and it was supposed to see the arrival of new electric trains. These are things we have been promised for a very long time and I know people will be extremely frustrated to see even more delays.

This is what Northern had to say when I asked for a full update on the plans for Bolton.

An email from Northern Rail
An email from Northern Rail

So more delays to improvements until an unspecified date in 2019.

The message also revealed that, after two months of an emergency timetable, services will not be restored fully as expected on 30th July and instead this will be a gradual reintroduction, again a timeframe is not specified.

All of this suggests that Northern still don’t know how to run a basic level of service without risking bringing the whole region to a standstill.

The Government have gone quiet on this but I still believe that Northern are failing to meet the terms of their franchise and they must face serious repercussions or be stripped of the franchise entirely.

There is one small piece of good news. Northern finally announced the details of their extra compensation scheme yesterday. If you buy weekly, monthly or annual tickets you can claim the cost of up to one month of travel. Full details of the scheme and how to make a claim can be found here: northernrailway.co.uk/compensation

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