At PMQs this lunchtime, Jason said that TransPennine Express should be stripped of its franchise if it doesn’t improve services.
The Prime Minister agrees that the current service is "not acceptable" and that Ministers will strip TPE of their franchise if they don’t turn things around.
Transcript from Hansard
Jason McCartney MP
The trans-Pennine rail upgrade is under way, which is good news, with stations in Slaithwaite and Marsden getting improvements.
Not such good news are the dozens of daily rail service cancellations by TransPennine Express, which are causing absolute misery for my constituents who are trying to get to work, to college, or to visit family and friends.
The franchise is up in May. Does the Prime Minister agree that enough is enough, and that if TransPennine Express does not get to grips with this we need to strip it of the franchise and get in somebody who will deliver reliable rail services for my constituents?
The Prime Minister
We have been clear that the current service is simply not acceptable. Rail North Partnership is working with the company on a service improvement plan, and my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Department for Transport, (Huw Merriman) is having weekly meetings with them.
As my hon. Friend points out, the TransPennine Express contract expires in May, and while there are currently discussions about that new contract, if Ministers conclude that the operator cannot be turned around, other decisions may be made.