Labour targets Southport rail stations to protest Tory Government “fiasco”

25th June 2018

Labour targets Southport rail stations to protest Tory Government “fiasco”.

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Labour activists are out at several of Southport’s rail stations today as part of the “Rail Mayhem” campaign day to protest Tory mismanagement of the rail network.
Meols Cop, Birkdale, Ainsdale and Southport will all have campaigners handing out leaflets during peak hours to protest the current rail problems as part of a national day of action aiming to hold Theresa May’s Government and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to account.
The event marks the first working day that running of the East Coast Mainline returns to public control following the collapse of the Virgin and Stagecoach franchise. The Department for Transport intends to hand services back to the private sector once the public sector has once again sorted its problems out, this is despite the franchise failing three times already in a decade and a £2 billion bailout to Virgin and Stagecoach last year.
Locally, Southport commuters are still reeling from last week’s news that the Department for Transport knew of problems with proposed route changes for Northern Rail three years ago and today expressed anger about the current problems and that the DfT officials had suggested a misinformation campaign to try to “handle” the fallout.
Comments on the situation such as “it’s a disgrace”; “they’ve shown utter contempt” and “appalling” were frequent amongst commuters who were handed leaflets.
One of those campaigning at Southport Station was Liz Savage, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for the town, who says it’s clear that local rail users have been badly let down by the Tory Government’s handling of the issues, the rail operators involved, and by the local Tory MP:
“We’ve seen little but posturing from the Conservatives on this, they are desperate to try and point the finger at Northern and Network Rail to decouple themselves from any blame but they knew there were going to be problems three years ago. They’ve displayed little but arrogance and a disregard for local rail users.”
“In the aftermath of the supposedly leaked rail emails story last week, local MP Damien Moore had a chance to stand up for Southport commuters and condemn the content and attitude revealed in them, instead he showed he cared far more about trying to protect the Transport Minister Chris Grayling than he did about his constituents. It was a clear case of putting his party over local people, yet again.”
Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonald MP, says it should be the end of the line for the beleaguered Transport Secretary:
“The rail mayhem that we’ve seen on our railways was caused by one man and that man is Chris Grayling. Passengers across the country are right to be angry at the way he has handled the latest in a long run of rail fiascos. Chris Grayling has lost all credibility and it’s time for him to go.”