'Utter shambles': New MPs slam train services as they face disruption during journeys to London

8 July 2024, 21:26

New MPs have hit out at 'shambles' rail services
New MPs have hit out at 'shambles' rail services. Picture: Paul Foster/Kirith Entwistle/Social media

By Emma Soteriou

Several newly-elected MPs have slammed "shambles" train services after their journeys to London were disrupted.

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The politicians criticised the reliability of train services during journeys to take their seats in the House of Commons.

It comes ahead of the Parliament sitting on Tuesday for the first time since the General Election.

Paul Foster, MP for South Ribble, wrote on Monday: "Day One on my way to Parliament and guess what... @AvantiWestCoast go and cancel my train just as I get to Preston station.

"To make matters worse, the train actually pulls into the station! Utter shambles."

He posted an image of a departures board showing the cancellation of a 6am train to London Euston.

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Henry Tufnell, MP for Mid and South Pembrokeshire, who travelled to London 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…”

Meanwhile, Claire Hughes, MP for Bangor Aberconwy, said: “In news that will shock absolutely no-one, my @AvantiWestCoast train down to London for my first day in Westminster has been cancelled.”

Andrew Ranger, who is Labour MP for Wrexham, replied: "That’ll be my train too!! Well we have another thing to add to the list of things to tackle. #avantifail."

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.

He posted an image at 9.24am on Monday of himself at Hebden Bridge station 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."

Kirith Entwistle, who represents Bolton North East, posted an image of the town's railway station with the caption: "Day 1 and my train into Manchester to get to London is cancelled. Off to a great start!"

Craig Harrop, regional director for Northern in the North West, said: "We are sorry to any customers disrupted by service cancellations yesterday and this morning.

"Our operational colleagues are working hard to keep journey planners up to date.

"We are very actively managing higher levels of staff sickness, and on Sundays, which rely on crews volunteering to work additional hours, we have seen a reduction in train crew making themselves available on parts of the network.

"In addition, the ongoing industrial relations issues have their own impact. We are working hard with our colleagues and other train operators to improve service reliability."

A spokesperson for Avanti West Coast said the operator was sorry for any inconvenience caused to customers following the cancellation of certain train services.

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