Railways: Leeds

Department for Transport written question – answered on 6th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bradshaw Lord Bradshaw Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government on how many days the full half-hourly weekday train service between Leeds and London, in both directions, ran before the pre-planned cancellations were introduced on 13 August 2018.

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

During the period from 21 May to 10 August 2018 LNER only operated the full half-hourly weekday timetable on the Leeds to London route (in both directions) on 19 of the 60 days, with at least 1 cancellation of a Leeds to London or London to Leeds service on the other 41 days.

Following the implementation of the May 2018 timetable services on Northern, GTR and Trans Pennine Express were severely disrupted. This level of disruption also impacted East Coast services (being operated by Virgin Trains East Coast), and was the underlying cause of the worsening performance. LNER also experienced reliability issues due to the age of their rolling stock whilst they await the introduction of the Azuma Intercity Express Trains.

When LNER commenced operations on 24 June 2018, the DfT worked with the operator to give passengers more certainty of the services running. The decision was taken to remove a small number of Leeds services from 13 August 2018. This provided LNER with a spare train (for use if one breaks down) to prevent further trains being cancelled, and additional time in maintenance depots.

We are monitoring the situation closely and working with LNER to reinstate the pre-planned cancellations as quickly as possible, but sufficient resilience is not likely until there are new Azuma trains in service later this year.

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