South Yorkshire Mayor responds as Transpennine Express is taken under government control

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It was announced yesterday that a major train service for the north will be taken under government control due to inadequate performance.

South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard has welcomed the announcement that Transpennine Express will lose its contract and be operated by government.

The provider connects Sheffield and Doncaster, and links the cities to Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh among others.

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It will now be controlled by the Operator of Last Resort (OLR), meaning a business will take over operations on behalf of the government to improve service issues.

Oliver CoppardOliver Coppard
Oliver Coppard

The service is the third in England to be placed under its operations, joining LNER and Northern Rail.

Speaking on the decision, South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard said: “I’m pleased the government have listened to me and other Mayors and finally taken this step to bringing an operator of last resort to take over TransPennine Express.

"I hope this marks the end of a year, effectively, of misery for rail passengers in the North. It’s hard to overstate the impact that the failure of TPE has had on people, stranded and let down by cancelled trains they should be able to rely on.”

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He went on: “At the height of the disruption, some days we saw half of our trains cancelled, often at the last minute. Despite repeated efforts to work with TPE to resolve the problems, the service continued to fall short of a functioning rail network, with around a quarter of trains regularly cancelled at the last minute.

“As well as the personal misery caused to thousands of people, our unreliable rail connections across the North hold back our efforts to boost our economy, stopping people from getting to work and limiting investment.”

And concluded: “This is not a silver bullet. The new operator will inherit all the same problems TPE have faced. It’s now the responsibility of government to ensure effective management in place to solve those problems.

“Our communities need trains they can rely on. It’s the least we deserve, and I’ll continue to fight on the side of passengers to make sure we get what we need.”

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