TRAIN passengers in the north have been cut off from the rest of the country because of a “conspiracy”, Huddersfield’s MP said.
Barry Sheerman made the claim during a parliamentary debate.
In a question to transport secretary Ruth Kelly, he said: “Is my right honourable friend aware that people in Yorkshire very much want a high-speed service to the major cities of this country, not just to London?
“Is she also aware that recently at weekends some conspiracy between National Express and Network Rail has sealed off the northern region from the rest of the country through the disruption and damage done to the timetable?”
The MP told the Examiner he had received complaints from numerous people in Huddersfield about delays on the East Coast mainline at weekends.
“There are often accidents, problems on the lines, engineering works.
“It’s almost impossible to get to London at the weekend without delays.
“Then there’s problems with terribly inaccurate information.
“It’s much more environmentally friendly to go by train, but people in Yorkshire and the north are being forced on to the road.”
In response to Mr Sheerman’s question, Ruth Kelly said: “Clearly, from time to time there will be disruption on the route, some of which may be unavoidable as a consequence of the upgrading of the line.
“If it is not unavoidable that is clearly unacceptable and I am sure my honourable friend will make representations to Network Rail, as indeed shall I on his behalf.”