30 May 2019
RMT Press Office:
After mayors in Merseyside and Manchester called for the failing Arriva Rail North franchise to be taken into public ownership yesterday the fight has ratcheted up a notch with the North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, joining the campaign today.
Mr Driscoll said: “The number one priority for a transport system is reliability. Andy Burnham and Steve Rotherham have been drawing the Government’s attention to the problems with this franchise for years now.
“Given that Northern cancelled more than 1,700 trains in the wider North East in 2018/19 I think it’s about time we took it back into public ownership.”
RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash, added: "The game is now up for Arriva with a third Mayor calling for the franchise to be stripped.
"RMT welcomes this intervention from Jamie Driscoll and coming so rapidly on the heels of yesterdays call from Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram surely Chris Grayling will finally do the right thing by the long-suffering commuters of the North and put this basket-case franchise out of its misery?
"The only viable solution is to place this franchise back into public ownership without delay.
"How much longer will the Government place political ideology over the basic needs of the people of the North. Grayling must act today."