Councillor criticises Grand Central Rail after passengers left stranded on service being cancelled and forced to buy new tickets

A Sunderland city councillor has criticised Grand Central Rail after a service was cancelled and passengers were forced to buy new tickets on a different, and more expensive operator.

Grand Central Railway, which runs services to London and York from Sunderland, has a frequent history of cancellations which has led to local criticism that it is unreliable.

Statistics have found the cancellation rate is close to one in ten (10%) of services.

Now, Councillor William McDonough of St. Chad’s Ward has said he was contacted by constituents who had their trips, holidays and connecting flights ruined because of a recent cancellation.

Although the customers will be refunded by the service some had no choice but to pay for more expensive tickets, on the spot, from a different operator instantly.

Cllr McDonough said: “The Grand Central service is a vital lifeline for the city, linking Sunderland to York and London, but it is now completely unreliable and no one who needs to be in the capital at a certain time can travel on the service for fear of delays and cancellations.

“Expecting passengers to buy new tickets for hundreds of pounds with a moment’s notice is atrocious and to make no promise of a refund is simply unacceptable.

“Grand Central must put a plan together to replace their dilapidated trains and provide our city with the service that it deserves.

“They were warned that the trains they currently have had a history of mechanical problems and they simply didn’t listen. Sunderland cannot put up with this.”

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