WARRINGTON North MP Helen Jones says the Government needs to start taking the problems on Northern Rail more seriously.

The train operator, which runs large numbers of services in and out of Warrington Central and other stations in the town, has been beset by problems since new timetables were introduced last month.

The Labour MP asked how many people in Warrington North were likely to receive compensation as a result of the delays to Northern Rail services and what estimate has been made, by government, of the effect on the north west’s economy of the disruption.

She said: “The government is really not taking these problems seriously.

"The minister’s reply to my questions is totally inadequate. He could not give me an assessment of the number of people who will qualify for compensation and admitted that no estimate of the effect of the disruption to the north west economy had been made.

“ The secretary of state for transport keeps claiming that the chaos caused by Northern Rail is not his responsibility.

"You have to ask what exactly he is there for if it is not to intervene when serious problems like this occur.

“ People’s everyday lives have been, and continue to be, severely affected and the government response is simply not good enough."

Customers with season tickets in the worst hit areas could be in line for refunds amounting to a month's travel.