A RAIL union general secretary has accused Northern bosses for 'glossing over' serious problems in the wake of last year's timetable chaos.

Manuel Cortes, from white-collar TSSA, made his attack after the train company's regional director Chris Jackson told the Greater Manchester Transport Committee that its service levels have stabilised.

He suggested Northern was ‘slowly rebuilding’ the trust of passengers.

Mr Cortes said: “What a cheek! Who do Northern think they are kidding with this spin over substance? The public will not be taken in for a minute by this naked attempt at glossing over the terrible service passengers continue to endure daily.

“I suppose that running train services which are better than bloody awful is an improvement of sorts.

“Northern will be fooling themselves if they think commuters are satisfied with their lousy performance in any way, shape or form. Only public ownership of these services will fix this mess - nothing else will do.”

A Northern spokesperson said: “Our performance has been steadily improving over the past 12 months as we have worked hard to bring stability and reliability to our services. We know there is more to do, and our customers were impacted over the summer by extreme weather causing flooding and damage to overhead lines and disruption to many rail services across the country.

“Northern is delivering the biggest transformation of local rail for a generation, with 19 of our 101 new trains already in service and driver training on a further 20 trains taking place right now.”