NORTHERN Rail has come under fire over its performance.

Philip Davies MP (Con, Shipley) branded Northern Rail “incompetent” and accused them of showing “complete disregard” for its customers while Transport for the North’s board members said passengers are having to put up with daily misery on the North’s railways.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Davies demanded action over Northern Rail’s “appalling track record”.

He said: “My constituents are repeatedly having trains cancelled often at rush hour meaning they are late for work or have trains that are completely jam packed, or they are even so jam packed they cannot even get on the next train and so are even later for work.

“They are showing a complete disregard for their customers and the government really needs to do something to get them get a grip of the situation so please can we have a debate because my constituents and I are getting greatly frustrated by their incompetence.”

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom urged Mr Davies to raise the matter directly with Rail Minister Andrew Jones.

Transport for the North said, with a timetable change having come into effect on Sunday, now was the time that train operators Northern and TransPennine Express needed to deliver on the step change in performance they have been promising since summer.

The body reiterated its position that there should be a second person on trains and that Northern and RMT should get back into negotiations in the interest of passengers.

They also welcomed the Government’s position that it would help identify funding for this measure.

Transport for the North’s chief executive, Barry White, said: “The sentiment surrounding what the North’s passengers are going through remains. Performance levels are still poor and the strength of feeling that something needs to change is undiluted.

“We’re acting, providing a solid voice for the North; ensuring the issues faced are prominent in ongoing reviews of the industry; and securing compensation packages for those affected. There can be no let-up in the pace of change.

“Transport for the North is doing its bit, making the case for better investment in infrastructure. But we’re also holding the train operators to account. The December timetable must now start to deliver on the promises of the operators to increase reliability.”

Members also heard about a £15 million enhancement package for Network Rail to spend in the North announced on Thursday. Transport for the North will work with Network Rail and passenger groups to decide how best the money should be spent in order to improve passenger journeys.

Councillor Judith Blake, who leads on transport for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and is Leader of Leeds City Council, welcomed the second part of the Office of Rail and Road’s inquiry into May’s timetable chaos which recommended that the interests of passengers are put at the heart of key decisions for major rail projects, and that the industry works together to improve how information is provided to passengers.

She said: “Passengers continue to experience poor punctuality and reliability with as many as 200 a day left on station platforms in our region and we continue to press the operators and Network Rail to take action to deliver the service the North of England deserves.

“We also need significant investment in infrastructure to sustain the growth in rail use and help us deliver our inclusive growth ambitions.”

Cllr Blake is leading a review into the introduction of the May timetable with Rail Minister Andrew Jones which will report in the New Year.