THE company operating trains through Barnsley will be stripped of its franchise and its services will be brought under government control, it has been announced.

The transport secretary Grant Shapps announced this afternoon that Northern Rail’s franchise will be stripped from German operator Arriva Rail North from March 1, following months of major disruptions.

Northern Rail serves Barnsley, connecting passengers to Sheffield, Leeds and Huddersfield and the company has been under fire since May 2018 when a new timetable was introduced across the Northern network.

Northern bosses initially blamed ‘challenges outside of its control’ however Grant Shapps said that passengers had ‘lost trust’ in the north’s rail network and people across the north deserve a better service.

"This is a new beginning for Northern, but it is only a beginning," Mr Shapps said.

“Northern's network is huge and complex and some of the things which are wrong are not going to be quick or easy to put right. But I am determined that Northern passengers see real and tangible improvements across the network as soon as possible.

“The railways were invented in the North. Last year the Prime Minister promised that we would give the railway back to the places it was born, giving more power over services, fares, and stations to local leaders.

“Today marks the first small step towards the North taking back control of its railways and its people taking back control of their travelling lives.

“There will be no more leaving behind. This government is committed to levelling-up.”