Local parents have contacted South Lakes MP Tim Farron after around 60 schoolchildren taking part in a WWII evacuation re-enactment were left stranded by Northern Rail this morning.
The children from St Mary’s and St Martin’s Primary School in Windermere, dressed in wartime costumes, had walked to the railway station to be waved off by tearful parents on the 0934 Northern Rail service. But the train was cancelled because of the ongoing staff shortages.
Tim said, “You couldn’t make it up. I guess we should all just be grateful that Northern Rail weren’t responsible for evacuating children during the war!
“Northern Rail knew that there were 60 children from Year 4 booked on the train. It was expected that they would put on extra carriages to cope, but instead they cancelled the whole train and didn’t even put on a replacement bus service.
“Again, we see the lack of commitment that Northern Rail have to our railway line and our local communities. It is time to finally remove the franchise from Arriva Trains and appoint an operator who won’t let local people down.
“I have written to Northern Rail asking for an apology and compensation, and to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to ask him once again to remove the franchise from Arriva.”
A spokesman for Northern said: “We are very sorry for the disruption and disappointment experienced by our customers in Cumbria this morning.
“A severe signalling failure in Manchester meant we were unable to run a number of services across the north of England – and the train due to operate the 9.34 Windermere service was caught up in these problems.
“We worked hard to provide as many alternative transport options as possible for customers at short notice, but were unable to source sufficient buses to complete all journeys.
“Again, we are sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment caused by these problems and will be talking with the school to look into the matter.”