Easington MP Grahame Morris has called the Durham Coastline Northern Rail Service the worst train service in the UK after more weekend transport chaos.

Mr Morris hit out after overcrowding left passengers stranded on the platform yet again at Seaham, he said:

“Levelling up is a sham.

Northern Rail’s Durham Coastline is a second-rate rail service failing in its most fundamental function. The public has lost faith, and the responses I have received from the Government shows a clear indifference to the problems.

Looking at people crammed into two carriages, standing on top of each other, it is easy to forget that we are living with a deadly pandemic taking more than 100 lives a day. As we have seen across the whole economy, the Government has failed to prepare and invest, and the public pays the price. In the current petrol crisis, switching to public transport for many people in East Durham is not an option because of our second-rate overcrowded trains.

The solution is so simple; it is a national scandal that we do not have enough carriages for this train line to fulfil its purpose of transporting people.

Our infrastructure is completely sub-standard with 1980s British Rail Pacer trains being replaced by 1980s refurbished British Rail Sprinter trains. It is a double insult to have sub-standard rolling stock that cannot accommodate the number of passengers who want to use the service.”

Mr Morris has called on the public to know their rights:

“There is no competition, accountability or responsibility on our rail network. People are voting with their feet by seeking more reliable methods of transport. Frustrated passengers often rip up tickets, but I encourage people to use their consumer rights and seek compensation. The Government should set a minimum compensation level as change will only come when it hits train operators bottom line.”

More information about the Consumer Rights Act can be found on the Which? website:


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