Northern Rail is to be nationalised, the government has announced today.
The struggling operator will become publicly owned from March 1st, after years of awful service.
The Department for Transport announced it’s putting the government-controlled Operator of Last Resort (OLR) in charge of running services, Sky reports.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned that ‘frustrated commuters will not have to wait long’ before action was taken against it, earlier this month.
Northern, the North of England’s largest rail commuter service, has been plagued by issues, with customers forced to put up with an abysmal service.
According to official figures, only 56% of Northern trains arrived at stations within one minute of the timetable in the year leading up to December 7th – compared to an average of 65% across Britain as whole.
On Wednesday, Mr Shapps told the House of Commons the Northern franchise was: “no longer financially sustainable and would only be able to continue for a small number of months”.
He added: “This is a new beginning for Northern, but it is only a beginning. Northern’s network is huge and complex, some of the things which are wrong are not going to be a quick or easy to put right.
“Nonetheless, I am determined that Northern passengers see real and tangible improvements across the network as soon as possible.”
Pubs and restaurants could reopen in June, Boris Johnson says
As part of the newest updates on easing lockdown, in regards to the hospitality industry Boris Johnson has suggested ‘we may be able to do things faster than I thought’.
Potential plans to bring in a reduction in the existing two-metre social distancing rule to one metre mean pubs and restaurants could reopen as early as June. Mr Johnson has asked scientists to review the two metre rule in the ‘hope’ it can be reduced.
Previously, plans to reopen the hospitality sector were expected to take place at the beginning of July at the earliest, as part of phase three.
However, in a Zoom video link to the Commons liaison committee yesterday, the Prime Minister explained that hotels, restaurants and pubs may all open as soon as next month.
He said: “It is really difficult to bring forward hospitality measures in a way that involves social distancing.
“But I am much more optimistic about that than I was. We may be able to do things faster than I previously thought.”
Boris Johnson is expected to announce new rules allowing two households to meet for barbecues later today, during the three week review of the coronavirus lockdown.
In the roadmap, step two of the relaxing of the lockdown would not include the hospitality sector and personal care. Originally they came under step three which would start at the earliest on July 4th.
However, yesterday’s statements suggest that this could be moved forward.
From today you might get a call from the NHS telling you to isolate for 14 days
Track and trace starts today.
From today, Thursday May 28th, you could get a call from the NHS telling you to self-isolate for 14 days, even if you have no symptoms.
This is because the government’s new track and trace rules are now in effect, in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus.
The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said self isolation was our ‘civic duty’ at yesterday’s briefing, adding that it could be made mandatory if people don’t obey it, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Mr Hancock said: “If you are contacted by NHS track and trace instructing you to isolate you must it is your civic duty so you avoid unknowingly spreading the virus and you break the chain of transmission.
“This is voluntary at first because we trust people to do the right thing but we can make it mandatory if necessary.”
He continued: “From 9am tomorrow in addition if you are contacted by an NHS track and trace adviser advising you you must isolate you must do that if you have symptoms or not.”
If you have symptoms, you must self-isolate then ask for a Covid-19 test, before working with a track and trace adviser to list the people you’ve been in contact with recently, who will then get a phone call and be asked to isolate regardless of symptoms.
According to Baroness Harding, who led the track and trace project, people must isolate themselves for 14 days, although members of their family won’t have to if no one has symptoms.
Mr Hancock added: “If you have symptoms you must isolate immediately and get yourself a test. Yesterday 2,013 people tested positive and the next step is through contact tracing, like detectives, the NHS clinician and the person who tested positive work together to trace the possible movements of the virus.”
Full list of all the shops open in the Trafford Centre and Arndale
Non-essential shops will be reopening again soon…
Following the latest updates from the Government, non-essential shops such as clothes and shoe shops are set to open in the next few weeks.
Almost all non-essential shops have remained closed since the lockdown was introduced in March. This has left the Arndale and Trafford Centre quieter than anyone has ever seen them before.
Over the past few months, a limited number of essential stores have been open providing residents of the surrounding areas with accesses to essentials like food, medicine and cleaning supplies.
Most recent openings include food retailers such as Archie’s and Five Guys offering takeaway services.
We’ve listed below the shops that are currently open within Arndale and Trafford Centre shopping centres and will continue to update the lists as stores begin to reopen their doors as part of the lockdown easing.
The shops open in the Arndale:
- Holland & Barrett
- Archie’s (takeaway and collection only)
The shops open in Trafford Centre:
- Five Guys (click & collect and Deliveroo only)
- M&S Foodhall
- Holland & Barrett
- Vision Express