Posted 24th June 2019 | No Comments

24 June: news in brief

New Network Rail regions launched

NEW regions at Network Rail went live today. The five regions are Eastern, North West & Central, Scotland’s Railway, Southern, and Wales and Western, and they will be devolved in turn into a total of 14 routes. Performance has been declining over the past five years. Official statistics show that 91.6 per cent of trains were ‘on time’ in 2012, but the figure has now fallen to 86.3 per cent. Chief executive Andrew Haines said: ‘Addressing the decline in train performance for our passengers is our priority and I’m pleased to say we’re already beginning to see signs of improvement. Moreover, the changes we are making today will help us to build on this and deliver the service that passengers and freight users deserve.’ He continued: ‘We’ve made these changes as a major part of our plan to provide the best possible service for passengers and freight users, to deliver the promises we’ve made for the next five years and to improve the way we work together as an industry.’ The 14 routes will come into operation later in the summer, and Network Rail said further changes would follow, as more authority continues to be transferred from the centre to regional and route management.

Manchester sets out integrated transport plan

THE Mayor of Greater Manchester has launched a ten-year transport plan for the city, which includes increasing control over rail services in Greater Manchester as well as the possibility of more new lines on Metrolink. These include completing the airport loop and adding Port Salford and Middleton to the system. Tram-trains will also be considered in conjunction with the Department for Transport on routes between Oldham and Heywood, Hale and the city centre, and Wilmslow to Manchester Airport via Styal. A Greater Manchester Rail Prospectus will set out Manchester’s rail ambitions in detail, as part of ‘Our Network’, which is the new name for the transport plan. This will also include bus franchising, using powers in the 2017 Bus Services Act. Mayor Andy Burnham said: ‘Our current public transport system is fragmented and unreliable, with often confusing ticketing and passenger information. A truly integrated transport network has the potential to transform Greater Manchester. By allowing people to easily and quickly move around our city-region we can unlock growth, cut congestion and air pollution and enable our residents to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives. That is why today I have launched Our Network, a vision for a cohesive and seamless single system that brings together all the different ways people travel in our city-region.’