Caroline Flint

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Caroline says taxpayers pay the price for Government transport failures

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint has expressed concern about the management of the rail system, as a new report by the Public Accounts Committee is released today.

The Committee has found that the railways faced “unacceptable” levels of disruption in 2018, and that this year looks to be another difficult year for both passengers and the rail industry. Causing concern are further significant timetable changes, as well increased amounts of maintenance work and large improvement projects rolling out.

The report found that the Department for Transport’s failed introduction of new timetables in May 2018 led to one in ten trains being cancelled by Northern, which serves Doncaster and the surrounding area, and Govia Thameslink, which serves the London area.

It also holds the Government to account over its promises on the East Coast franchise, of which Doncaster is a main calling point. The line went back into public ownership last year. The Government promised reduced journey times, new services, and a large increase in seat numbers back in 2014.

The report comes as Caroline led a debate in Westminster about transport for towns last week.

Said Caroline: “Transport needs to start working better for people in towns and our report highlights the Government’s failures to confront its unacceptable levels of passenger disruption.

“I’ve used the East Coast mainline route to get down to Parliament from Doncaster for the past 22 years. Access to the mainline is a great asset for Doncaster and reducing journey times and putting on new services need to be a priority for the Government.

“Unless the Department improves its management of the railway and transport more generally, passengers and taxpayers risk continuing to pay the price for the Department’s failures.

Caroline Flint MP has been a member of the Public Accounts Committee since 2015.  The Public Accounts Committee is Parliament’s oldest and most powerful select committee, and works to examine the Government’s finances and getting better value for money for the taxpayer.

The Report can be accessed here

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