Decision details

Northern Trains: Priorities for Leeds City Region

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes




(i)              That the Committee endorse the principle of a new relationship with Northern based on openness, honesty and working in partnership, which recognises elected members’ role as passenger champion, and which secures delivery of strategic objectives for clean and inclusive growth, recognising the important role for rail in West Yorkshire in achieving these.


(ii)             That the Committee note the issues facing Northern as OLR takes over the operation from Arriva.


(iii)           That the Committee approve the principle that Combined Authority officers should work with Northern, TfN and others to identify potential interventions for the short-to-medium term period after the industry emerges from COVID 19 restrictions but while OLR continues.  These interventions should be directed towards the key principles of:


·       Improving reliability and punctuality

·       Providing train capacity where it is most needed

·       Improving staff morale and the image of the rail operator

·       Making small-scale but noticeable improvements to the passenger experience at trains and on stations, including better information

·       Setting the agenda for the longer-term investment that rail in our region requires


The broad types of intervention, to address the issues identified above and summarised below and form the basis of further discussion for Combined Authority officers with Northern and TfN, include:


Short-term, low-cost

·       Staff training and engagement

·       “Soft factors” – communications and image

Short-term, modest-cost

·       Minor improvements to train interiors

·       Improved passenger information at hub stations

·       Station service access

Short-to-medium term

·       Temporary timetable interventions to drive performance

·       Complete fleet refurbishment programme

·       Remedial work to class 195 fleet

·       Station facilities “quick wins”


·       “The missing fleet”:

·       Complete assessment of scale of requirements

·       Put forward request and evidence to Government


Publication date: 15/05/2020

Date of decision: 15/05/2020

Decided at meeting: 15/05/2020 - Transport Committee

Effective from: 23/05/2020

Accompanying Documents: