Northern cancels Sunday rail services again
Northern has cancelled about 80 rail services on Sunday for a second time, in a move branded "outrageous".
Services across north-west England have been affected as engineering projects caused crew scheduling "difficulties".
The RMT union said the firm was passing the "blame" while Greater Manchester's deputy mayor Beverley Hughes described it as a "weekly shambles".
The Government called it unacceptable. Northern apologised and added about 5% of its Sunday services were affected.
Darren Ireland, the union's regional organiser, said it was "ludicrous" to blame engineering works for the latest cancellations.
"If anything, that would mean they need fewer crews because of the [resulting] cancellations.
"They are blaming everyone apart from the mismanagement of the company."
The union repeated its calls for the operator to be "stripped of the franchise and the Northern routes should be nationalised immediately".
One passenger tweeted she had to travel to work on Saturday night to be in work in time on Sunday because of the lack of trains.
Passenger Anthony Perkins tweeted the company, asking how long the "nightmare" would continue.
Northern rail's summer of disruption
- More than 165 daily train services were cancelled following a chaotic timetable introduction in May.
- Services partially resumed at the end of July.
- Earlier this month, the operator apologised after a passenger who is disabled was told she could not travel with her mobility scooter despite being sold a ticket face-to-face.
- Three new strikes are also planned by Northern rail workers in a dispute about the role of guards, including one over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
On 5 August, Northern said the cancellations came after train workers had "made themselves unavailable".
Staff contracts mean employees do not have to work on Sundays if they provide seven days' notice.
Earlier this week, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said it was "outrageous for Northern to try and lump the blame" on their workforce.
A Northern spokesman responded: "We actually have more drivers than we need to run a full timetable in normal circumstances."
Ms Hughes said: "It is outrageous that Northern think it is acceptable to keep cancelling scores of services on Sundays."
She said the firm's announcement of the cancellations late on Friday afternoon showed "scant regard" for rail passengers.
"Enough is enough. We need real answers and an end to this weekly shambles," she added.
"I want the secretary of state to step in and find out what's going on in that company and make sure we have a management in place that can deliver the services that the public need."
A Department for Transport spokeswoman: "The disruption that passengers in the north have experienced is unacceptable and it is vital that services continue to improve and passengers are compensated fully.
"As joint managers of Northern, we continue to work closely with Transport for the North to improve services for passengers, including further timetable adjustments to improve reliability, to reduce disruption for passengers and to ensure they see the benefits of our long-term investment."
Services were amended between:
- Liverpool to Manchester Airport
- Wigan North Western - Liverpool
- Blackpool South - Colne and Blackpool - Carlisle
- Lancaster - Morecambe
- Manchester Piccadilly - Hazel Grove
- Southport - Wigan - Manchester - Blackburn
Northern said: "Ongoing engineering projects have caused severe difficulties around the short-notice scheduling of our train crews.
"This is the root cause of what has required us to make these planned cancellations to our main Sunday timetable.
"We are sorry that our customers continue to experience some disruption to their weekend services."