I am writing to support your call for the Prime Minister to ‘get a grip’ on the chaos caused to passengers by the new timetable introduced by Northern Rail. The truth is that Theresa May and the Transport Secretary, referred to by colleagues in the Conservative Party these days as Failing Grayling, are badly letting down passengers in the north of England. The fault lies with Mr Grayling; the Department for Transport; Network Rail; and Northern Rail, which does not employ enough drivers to deliver the service it promised, in its franchise application, to deliver; and which started training drivers – giving drivers the route knowledge they need – far too late. It makes a mockery of the idea of a Northern Powerhouse. The lack of investment in rail in the north is an utter disgrace; the north receives £2,555 less per person than London in rail investment each year (£1,600 per person compared with £4,155). As train drivers, and as a progressive trade union, we believe in a modern railway, fit for passengers, and staff, to help build a better Britain in the 21st century.

Mick Whelan

General secretary,

ASLEF, the train drivers’ union