Northern has issued a response to the announcement made by the Department for Transport on Wednesday 23 May.

David Brown, Managing Director at Northern, said: “We are doing everything we can to minimise cancellations and delays and keep our customers informed. It has been difficult for many of our customers, in particular on a number of routes around north Manchester extending up to Blackpool, and we are very sorry for this.

“We are introducing 1,300 new train services a week, and fitting in these and other train companies’ services has meant that we have had to change 90% of our timetabled trains. This is the biggest modernisation that the Northern railway has had for generations.

“The new timetable was planned and delivered in 4 months compared to the normal 9-12 months because a key improvement – electrification of the Manchester-Bolton line – has been delayed and this meant rewriting our plan and then training drivers at the last minute.

“We know the situation isn’t good enough and for that we are truly sorry. We‘re implementing actions that we have agreed with the Department for Transport. Our customers deserve better and that’s what we’re focused on delivering.”