Calls for Northern Rail to be stripped of its franchise by the Greater Manchester Mayor received a mixed reaction. 

Conservative politicians and Bolton Rail Users Group say they doubt nationalisation would solve the rail franchise's problems.

However Labour figures and union bosses strongly backed taking Northern into state-ownership.

Bolton North-East MP Sir David Crausby was delighted at Greater Manchester's Mayor Andy Burnham endorsing his demand last year to strip the company of its franchise to run local trains.

READ MORE: Northern Rail should be stripped of franchise says Greater Manchester Mayor

Jeff Davies, chairman of the Bolton RUG , said: “Our group have recently thoroughly researched rail franchises which took us to independent reports clearing Northern of any responsibility for the problems which happened last year.

“We are not in favour of nationalising Northern. It is the wrong time when the company is putting half a billion pounds of private money into new trains. We are not saying Northern has got everything right but we do not see how public ownership would improve the franchise’s performance.”

Sir David said: “In Parliament last year I called for Northern to be stripped of their franchise and I’m pleased to hear that Andy Burnham agrees.

“Time after time we are promised improvements that never materialise.

“Key commuter services consistently run without enough carriages and the new timetable seems to have reduced capacity further on the line through Bolton.

“It simply isn’t good enough and it’s time the government held Northern to account for their failure.”

Bolton West Conservative MP Chris Green said: "Jeremy Corbyn has been demanding the renationalisation of vast swathes of the British economy. It is therefore no surprise to hear that his acolytes delivering his message by calling for the nationalisation of Northern Rail.

"Corbyn may regard himself as most able to run the railways but few would agree that Labour would be competent in doing this. I agree that the problems on our railways need to be resolved but we should recognise that this Government is investing in our railways."

Labour Transport for the North Board member Cllr Phil Riley said: “I absolutely understand the frustration that led to this call.

“The performance of Northern Rail after the timetable change in May 2018 was appalling. While things have improved they have not improved as much as we would have hoped.

“Labour is proposing bringing back Britain’s railways into public ownership. I support that."

Conservative TfN board member Cllr Geoff Driver said: “Of course Northern’s service leaves a lot to be desired and we need to sort it out. But simply calling for the franchise to be taken away without a plan and strategy for what would replace it and when is simply irresponsible and doesn’t help to resolve the problem.”

Mick Cash, general secretary of the the biggest RMT rail union, said: “There should now be a swift transition of the Northern routes into a public sector operation. There can be no excuses for any delay.”

Manuel Cortes, boss of the white-collar rail union the TSSA, said: “This is a great move by the two Metro-Mayors speaking on behalf of nearly 4.5million people."

Ribble Valley Tory MP Nigel Evans said: “Northern must shape up or ship out. To me the interests of passengers are number one at all time. However I am never keen on taking anything back into state ownership and there may be other operators who could do a much better job.”