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Northern's driver shortage

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Just a quick trains update for you as everyone heads back to work today.

The local service has been even worse than usual the last few weeks with many cancellations at short notice and greater use of short-formed trains. Northern say the situation will improve once additional drivers have been trained on the Blackpool line.

I wanted to find a way to improve the situation in the short term, and made this suggestion on social media:

The response to this was broadly positive. On the whole people accept that Northern are facing challenges, they just want clear information so that they know how to make sure they get to their destination on time with minimal discomfort.

I wrote to Northern on Wednesday 2nd May to raise three questions:
- When do Northern expect the driver situation to be resolved and a full timetable to be run?
- Will Northern run some rail replacement services in the interim and set a timetable that meets the number of drivers so passengers know what to expect?
- Why can carriages from the cancelled trains not then be used to top up the train that follows it in the schedule in order to prevent short-formed services?

Please find below Northern’s response, dated 3rd May.

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