Officials Called Northern Rail Routes 'Valueless', According to Leaked Emails

By Tom Pritchard on at

It's safe to say that the Northern railway system is an absolute shambles at the moment. Northern introduced a new timetabling system that's resulted in chaos across is routes, to the point where old diesel trains have been brought back in to make sure people can actually get to where they need to go. If it wasn't such a shitshow I'd be impressed. I imagine it's quite difficult to take Northern's shite service and make it even worse.

But things aren't likely to get better anytime soon, especially given some new emails that have leaked out of the Department for Transport. The emails show DfT officials claiming Northern rail routes are "valueless" and discussing whether it would be worth "throwing a sop" at local passenger groups to try and get them to back off, or trying to spread bullshit to distract the public.

The emails were shown off during Prime Minister's Questions by Lisa Nandy, Labour MP for Wigan, who called them a disgrace:

“These emails are a disgrace. In them officials describe key northern routes as ‘valueless’, discuss classic handling strategies for members of parliament, discuss whether to throw a sop to northern passenger groups and debate whether to propagate myths in order to divert public attention from agreed planned route closures."

While the government has claimed Network Rail and Northern are responsible for not being prepared, the emails also claim that the DfT was warned about the potential chaos as long as two years ago. She then accused Theresa May of withholding information from both MPs and the public, and asking whether she's "so incompetent she literally has not got a clue what is going on in her own government."

The Prime Minister refused to comment on the leaked documents, but claimed there was an independent panel that advised the department of transport ahead of the timetabling changes. She didn't elaborate on what that actually meant, and how it was relevant to the discussion, but hey.

You can watch the video of the whole thing as it happened in the House of Commons at the source. [The Independent]