A MAJOR rail operator is to be brought under Government control as a result of slipping standards.

TransPennine Express will now fall under the control of the Government, after months of sub-standard service for customers.

The rail operator runs services through Warrington, linking from Warrington Central to Manchester stations such as Picadilly.

Warrington Guardian: A number of operators run services through Warrington CentralA number of operators run services through Warrington Central (Image: Newsquest)

Following months of cancelled services and delays, it has been decided by the Transport Secretary that TransPennine Express' contract will not be renewed.

This means the company is being brought into 'operator of last resort' (OLR) from Sunday, May 28.

Following months of deliberation, the Department for Transport has decided that the best way forward will be to completely reset TransPennine Express' contract, and its business relationships, and is hoping that bringing the company under Government control will go some way to facilitate this.

However, the Transport Secretary has warned this is not a 'silver bullet' that will immediately fix every issue with the service.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: "In my time as Transport Secretary, I have been clear that passenger experience must always come first.

"After months of commuters and northern businesses bearing the brunt of continuous cancellations, I’ve made the decision to bring TransPennine Express into 'operator of last resort.'

"This is not a silver bullet and will not instantaneously fix a number of challenges being faced, including ASLEF’s actions which are preventing TransPennine Express from being able to run a full service – once again highlighting why it’s so important that the railways move to a seven-day working week.

"We have played our part, but ASLEF now needs to play theirs by calling off strikes and the rest day working ban, putting the very fair and reasonable pay offer to a democratic vote of their members."

ASLEF is one of the unions that has been taking industrial action, which has disrupted rail services, regarding working conditions and a pay dispute.

Under OLR, services will run as normal with no changes to tickets, timetables or planned services with the Government 'committed to ensuring a seamless transition for passengers.'