COUNCIL leader Samantha Dixon has backed Transport for the North’s statement calling on Northern to compensate customers as rail services continue to struggle.

Cllr Samantha Dixon, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: ”As a member of the TfN Partnership Board, I fully support the statement from John Cridland, chairman of TfN about Northern’s rail service.

“The Mid Cheshire line provides essential links between Chester, Northwich, Stockport and Manchester. It is disappointing that passengers have been facing train cancellations combined with unsatisfactory and accurate information for them to plan their business and travel.

“Northern must step up its measures to deliver services that our communities, businesses and visitors expect to enjoy. Along with other members of TfN, I will be paying very close attention to Northern’s performance over the coming days and weeks.”

Mr Cridland said: “We stand firmly with passengers across the north – they expect and deserve better.

“The patience of residents, businesses and visitors in the north has been tested. They have been inconvenienced and disrupted and need a rail service that they can rely on.

“We are deeply disappointed that – two weeks in from the timetable change – we are not yet seeing more improvement. We will scrutinise, challenge and track services over the coming days.

“We, as a group, commit to communities in the north to speak on their behalf and demand a service that is fit for purpose.”

Mr Cridland called for services to be at least as good as before the May 20 timetable change, and for customers to be compensated due to reduces service.

He also wants clearer communication with passengers, and better engagement on any future changes.