Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham late for rail service meeting after train to Liverpool is cancelled

“The irony is not lost.”

Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, and Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, experienced the state of rail services yesterday, after their train was cancelled.

The pair were heading to Liverpool Lime Street for a press briefing about train services in the North, yesterday, when they found out they would have to experience a long wait.

They took to Twitter to share their disappointment, and Mr Rotheram said the irony was not lost on them.

Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham are both demanding that TransPennine Express and Avanti West Coast are stripped of their franchise and face Government action if they don’t improve services.

Mr Rotheram said: “For far too long, too many people in the North and the North West have been held back by a failing rail service.”

He also said that less than 70% of trains have been running on time.

A spokesperson for TransPennine Express said services were running well until December of last year: “Since then, prolonged disruption affecting our services has been caused by a range of issues including ongoing high levels of train crew sickness, a persisting training backlog as a direct result of Covid, and infrastructure issues outside of TPE’s control.”

In a previous statement, Graham Sutherland, FirstGroup (who own Avanti North West) chief executive officer, said: “We are committed to working closely with Government and our partners across the industry to deliver a successful railway that serves the needs of our customers and communities.”