Lancashire County Shadow Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration has called on employers to show some understanding for employees currently caught up in unavoidable train delays. Transport chaos has engulfed many parts of Lancashire this week due to changes in timetables, shortages of drivers and over-running engineering works.
Cllr Gibson said: “As a former commuter from Ormskirk to Liverpool I remember what it was like to travel on public transport – it was my only way to get to work. Although it ran perfectly well most of the time I do remember occasions when I was ringing in work to alert them to the fact I would possibly be late again, sometimes a for the second time in a week, and all through no fault of my own.
She continued: “Whilst the chaos this week has quite rightly been focused on train companies what is often forgotten is the impact on the passenger to get to work on time and I’ve heard some worrying accounts this week of people being scared to ring their workplace often for the third or fourth time in a row to explain why they will be late. I was fortunate when I was a commuter to have an understanding employer; but I know many fellow passengers who weren’t and I would urge employers to have some sympathy and understanding at this time. With the chaos we have seen this week it is quite clear that our rail system is broken.”
According to a Which report published in 2017, in 2016/2017 passengers across the UK lost an estimated 3.6 million hours due to delayed trains in 2016/2017. Further delays and cancellations were announced on Friday lasting until at least the end of July.
Cllr Gibson added: “West Lancashire is served by a network of train stations with connections to Preston, Liverpool and Manchester. Hopefully soon we can add Skelmersdale to that list. But with the chaos we have seen this week it is quite clear that our rail system is broken and what we need more than anything, is a fully integrated train system brought back into public ownership serving the economy and the people of West Lancashire.”