Burnley MP demands transport secretary resignation over rail chaos

Burnley's Manchester Road railway station
Burnley's Manchester Road railway station
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Burnley MP Julie Cooper has demanded the resignation of embattled Transport Secretary Chris Grayling following the summer’s rail chaos.

The huge disruption in recent months on the railway saw many Burnley and Padiham rail users stranded, delayed or severely inconvenienced.

A report by the Office of Rail and Road concluded that the Department for Transport, headed by Chris Grayling, was among those held responsible for the disruption for failing to ‘sufficiently question assurances from the industry about the risk of disruption.’

Mrs Cooper said: “Constituents have been contacting me for several months with stories of disruption caused to their lives by the breakdown of rail services over the summer.

“They have related experiences of workers continuously arriving late for work, exams and interviews missed, childcare arrangements disrupted, holiday plans jeopardised and planes missed; not to mention the effects on the economy.

“No wonder productivity is down when the Government cannot deliver an efficient transport infrastructure. Most damning in my view is that the report has attributed much of the chaos to the fact that no one took charge.

"Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, is paid to be in charge and his failure to do his job has wreaked havoc for my constituents and thousands of rail users around the country. It is completely unacceptable.”

The final stage of the enquiry will analyse what actions the industry must take to ensure that a similar breakdown of services cannot happen and the recommendations will be published in the final report, due in December.