Mersey & Gtr Manchester calls for Arriva to lose Northern franchise

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by LeeLivery, 29 May 2019.

  1. LeeLivery

    LeeLivery Established Member

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    From The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news...medium=&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1559115120
     
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  3. Wilts Wanderer

    Wilts Wanderer Established Member

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    Would this (if it happened) technically make Arriva the only company to have lost the same franchise twice? IIRC they were ejected from the Regional Railways North East franchise in the early 2000's due to chronic train crew shortages and mass cancellations over an extended period. (See a pattern here?)
     
  4. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

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    All a bit pointless, the problems would still have occured whoever ran the franchise, contracts drawn up largely by previous companies, trains built by other companies and a timetable compiled by another body.
     
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I don't think they did lose it.
     
  6. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    Perhaps but Northern have done a particularly poor job.
     
  7. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    Indeed, the problems with the Northern franchise are not all down to Arriva. The DfT & Network Rail are at least equally culpable for the ongoing issues in the North West. But Northern is a handy distraction technique to make it look like these mayors and councils are actually doing something, as opposed to blowing a lot of hot air. I'd be far more impressed if they aimed more angst at the Minister & his department.

    As for the idea of devolution, I'm actually in favour of that. However Greater Manchester is not the only place on the map, something I suspect Mr Burnham won't be so keen to talk about.

    Its been far more of a problem in the North West than east of the Pennines.
     
  8. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

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    No, the contract was rebid in the usual way (i.e. when the old one expired) and won by others (First or Serco/Ned depending on whether you consider the Transpennine bits or the other bits).
     
  9. AngelicUpstart

    AngelicUpstart Member

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    Swap one set of interfering politicians for another set, that's bound be be a big win for everyone, not!
     
  10. Glenn1969

    Glenn1969 Member

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    Maybe Mr Burnham should turn his attention to sorting out Manchester capacity. If he has the powers of course. It surely is a factor in the poor performance?
     
  11. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Arriva bought MTL (Merseytravel's bus company), the original franchisee of RRNE (Northern Spirit).
    MTL, who also ran the first Merseyrail franchise, were performing very badly at the time.
    So Northern Spirit and Merseyrail came under the Arriva banner for a time (2000-03).
    However Arriva lost both these franchises in the following bid round, but won Wales & Borders at roughly the same time (2003-18).

    What's interesting here is that Burnham and Rotheram are senior figures in Transport for the North (TfN), the seemingly toothless body which is supposed to be sharing the management of the Northern and TPE franchises with the DfT.
    They are also supposed to be taking over full control at the next franchise round.
    It's not clear to me how another body will solve either the industrial relations issues or the rolling stock shortages in the short term, as they are not entirely of Arriva's making.
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The concern I have with devolution is based on what has played out in Germany and on our bus networks - it's much easier and less controversial for a local authority simply not to order a subsidised service ("nichts bestellt") without hitting the news in a big way in the way even the most obvious basket case of a line closure now would (think Conwy Valley and similar) and so I fear mass bustitutions and closures of rural lines, particularly in the North.

    As for the present debacle (certainly the "overcomplicated diagrams and stupid staff changeover points" part), I'm not sure LNR hasn't just gone and done the same thing - it's just that the effect isn't quite as bad because New St has 12+ platforms and not 2. The board at Euston has still gone from "generally OK, but the odd sloppy sub-5-minute delay here and there" to "an almighty mess every single day so far".
     
  13. Glenn1969

    Glenn1969 Member

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    I think the decline in subsidised bus services is down to the Tories cutting LA funding to bodies like Metro by something like 40% over time so they have less money to distribute so have to prioritise. That's why I don't trust them with a Nationalised railway because there are too many competing priorities for a smaller pot of public money

    Northern's problems were to some part down to NR's failure to deliver proposed infrastructure enhancements which are not Arriva's fault
     
  14. jonesy3001

    jonesy3001 Established Member

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    Must be a slow news day, slagging off the TOC when it is clearly the governments fault for not providing the infrastructure the TT changes were meant to be for like the extended platforms at piccadilly that should of been built or ready by now and cutting short the electrification for stalybridge to just a few yards outside victoria.
     
  15. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    Without the proper funding, you may be right about devolution. Properly done it could work, but then reality smacks me in the face & I remember this is the UK, and we never seem to do these kind of things properly. Oh well, the dream is dead.... ;)

    I can't speak for LNR having not yet used them, but I firmly suspect that at least some of the problems Arriva have caused with things like daft changeover places (Oxford Road for example) are as a result of an "efficiency drive" to help deliver the required subsidy reductions, as set out in the franchise agreement. I fear the more the DfT drives subsidies down, the more we will see similar issues around the network. Subsidy reduction is great for the Daily Mail editors and readers, not so much for those of us that use those services.
     
  16. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It could well be. Personally I'd rather a lower-frequency, higher-capacity, highly reliable service if they needed to cut. Rather an hourly long train you can set your watch by than a half-hourly short one that's all over the place. Though below hourly that becomes somewhat of a law of diminishing returns, so you couldn't do that on the entire of Northern. This is a slightly different issue to LNR, where it's been done to grow the market without reducing the number of staff or units, though it's still had a very bad effect on the state of the service.
     
  17. mpthomson

    mpthomson Member

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    Indeed, both mayors are Labour mayors and it's an easy way to have a political pop at the government in the full knowledge that they'll say no so they (Rotherham and Burnham) don't actually have to do anything about it.
     
  18. Glenn1969

    Glenn1969 Member

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    I don't think you could do that on any of the main routes because the train would still be rammed especially at peak times
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    You could certainly lop Southport back to hourly (it was less frequent than that in the 1990s, it had an odd 1h10ish frequency like Ormskirk-Preston) if you ran it with double or even triple units all day. I reckon there will be other similar bits.
     
  20. Redmike

    Redmike Member

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    I can see the merit in having fewer but longer trains on some routes. The network around Manchester has no resilience, one minor delay miles away can cause chaos for thousands of passengers heading through Piccadilly Platform 13 and 14 and Oxford Road.
     
  21. Glenn1969

    Glenn1969 Member

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    Maybe you could but would that mean rammed trains Manchester to Wigan? I don't use that route because I live in Yorkshire.
     
  22. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Would running a standard formation of 3 x 142 fit the platforms to Southport? I'd be surprised if that didn't offer enough capacity.
     
  23. Glenn1969

    Glenn1969 Member

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    142s are to be withdrawn though. Less trains for the same amount of passengers doesn't increase capacity and may stifle growth. We don't want people to be convinced driving is easier. Or do we?
     
  24. Redmike

    Redmike Member

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    In which case we need to invest in infrastructure (eg Platform 15/16) so that we can actually fit all these extra trains on the tracks and run a reliable service.
     
  25. Lytham Local

    Lytham Local Member

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    Would make absolutely no difference who runs it. You still have the same management, same staff, same unions, same government departments, same processes, same bureaucracy, same infrastructure problems and so on.
     
  26. Cliveblackpool

    Cliveblackpool Member

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    Couple years ago, a Welsh customer said that we were going to regret having Arriva take over the Northern Franchise........

    Cancelled trains, no trains on the Blackpool South line for months. Loss of trade from rail users with the continuous Saturday strikes, must be in the region of £millions.
    Replacement buses that were running, were cancelled before 11pm on a Saturday, leaving Virgin passengers stranded at Preston.........

    https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/...ail-to-be-stripped-of-its-franchise-1-9793274
    Rail operator Northern has "consistently failed" and should be stripped of its franchise, two North West mayors have said.

    In a joint statement, the mayors of Greater Manchester and Liverpool have called on Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to terminate the franchise as soon as possible.
    The two mayors said Northern has failed to deliver a significant and sustained improvement in performance, with nearly a fifth of all services arriving late, 28,000 services cancelled, and a huge increase in services being "shortformed" - reducing the number of carriages on the train - from 2,825 in December 2018 to 4,172 in April 2019.
    Northern was also accused of failing to resolve the guards on trains industrial dispute, which has seen 46 days of strike action.
    The mayors highlighted the state of Sunday services, saying that last Sunday alone there were 165 unplanned cancellations on top of 90 planned cancellations.
    Northern had also failed to introduce new trains, which means the "hated" Pacer trains may not be gone by the end of the year as promised, and promised new services had not been delivered, it was claimed.
    The joint statement said: "The Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region Mayors are now urging the Department of Transport to implement an 'Operator of Last Resort' and bring in a new board and team of directors to run the company as soon possible."
     
  27. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Would anything change if you bring in another company to run the franchise? Having DOR won't suddenly make all the late running CAF trains enter service
    , it won't solve issues around Piccadilly, it might increase the number of staff willing to work rest days on Sundays.

    What happened to all those 150s and other units from Scotland they have acquired?
     
  28. jonesy3001

    jonesy3001 Established Member

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    i'm just amazed that the press turn into rail enthusiasts when stories like this happen, you won't see them run a railway, they'll just keep warm in there cozy offices spouting out fake news.
     
  29. Sleeperwaking

    Sleeperwaking Member

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    This again?? It's as if Burnham got one of those Facebook memory posts about him doing exactly the same thing this time last year, and decided to click the "Share" button...
     
  30. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    Absolutely, just a shame nobody with sufficient influence pointed all that out to John Major before he broke it all up .
     
  31. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    DfT has rejected the call for the franchise to be removed from Arriva.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/business-48399705
     

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