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Chronicle Live
Simon Meechan

TransPennine Express 'sorry' for unreliable timetables and frequently cancelled trains

A train company that frequently cancels services connecting the North East with Manchester and Liverpool says it is 'sorry' customers are repeatedly faced with disruption.

Data sourced from Network Rail by shows TransPennine Express has been repeatedly cancelling trains on its routes from Newcastle, Durham and Darlington to Manchester and Liverpool.

One of TransPennine Express' daily services from the North East to North West, the 09.43 weekday train from Newcastle to Liverpool, ran just 7% of the times it was scheduled to over the past 12 weeks as of January 18, 93% were cancelled.

Read more: What Tyne and Wear Metro fares rises will mean for your ticket from April 1

A peak-time commuter train from Newcastle to Liverpool, scheduled to depart at 08.01 and head to the North West via Durham, only went ahead 27% of the times it was scheduled to over the past three months, which means almost three-quarters were cancelled.

Other trains regularly cancelled by TransPennine Express include its last weekday train from Newcastle to York, which passengers can use to connect to Manchester. That train, the 22:01, only operated for 17% of the journeys it was timetabled to make.

While strikes have played their part, TPE's cancellation rates are higher than its competitors who have faced the same industrial action.

TransPennine Express apologised and says it is doing all it can to give passengers in the North East a reliable service.

A spokesperson for TransPennine Express said: “We are committed to the communities we serve and want to assure our customers that we are doing all we can to deliver a train service they can rely on.

“Prolonged disruption to our services has been caused by a combination of very high levels of sickness and a training backlog following the pandemic, which have led to us needing to remove services from our timetable on a day-to-day basis through pre-planned cancellations.

“Our customers want, and deserve, reliable and punctual train services, and we are sorry we have not been able to consistently provide that due to the ongoing issues. TPE’s team continues to work flat-out to deliver higher levels of service delivery and to tackle the issues that are being experienced by customers.”

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