Services run by TransPennine Express (TPE) are to be nationalised from this weekend after the Transport Secretary announced earlier this month that the rail operator’s contract would not be renewed or extended.

The services are to be brought under government control from Sunday (May 28) after it was announced that the company was to be brought into operator of last resort (OLR).

The decision follows months of significant disruption and regular cancellations across the rail operator's network, which has resulted in a considerable decline in confidence for passengers who rely on the trains.

TPE operates trains from York to cities including Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool, and to Malton and Scarborough.

It also manages the Malton and Selby railway stations.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said that under OLR services will run as normal with no changes to tickets, timetables, or planned services.

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They said the department is “committed to ensuring a seamless transition for passengers”.

The spokesperson explained that the decision to bring TPE into OLR is temporary and said it is the government’s “full intention” for it to return to the private sector.

At the time of the initial announcement on May 11, Transport Secretary Mark Harper warned that nationalising TPE’s services is “not a silver bullet”.

“In my time as Transport Secretary, I have been clear that passenger experience must always come first,” he said

Gazette & Herald: Transport Secretary Mark HarperTransport Secretary Mark Harper (Image: Lucy North/PA Wire)

“After months of commuters and northern businesses bearing the brunt of continuous cancellations, I’ve made the decision to bring TPE into OLR.

“This is not a silver bullet and will not instantaneously fix a number of challenges being faced, including Aslef’s actions which are preventing TPE from being able to run a full service.”

MPs in North Yorkshire backed the Transport Secretary’s decision to nationalise TPE’s services.

Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, said: “I have long called for TPE to be brought under public ownership via the OLR model.

“The service has been so disruptive to passengers that they have not been able to plan their journeys.”

Gazette & Herald: Rachael Maskell, MP for York CentralRachael Maskell, MP for York Central (Image: Supplied)

The Labour MP, however, added that the government "has sat on their hands, rewarding failure, rather than acting" over the last year, and "must own their responsibility for letting down passengers in the north".

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, said the “the right decision” was taken by the Transport Secretary.

“While I do appreciate TPE have made efforts to improve services, my constituents have still faced years of poor service and unreliability,” said the Conservative MP.

Gazette & Herald: Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and MaltonKevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton (Image: Agency)

“I have raised this with TPE and transport ministers throughout the years as an MP, as well as raising numerous constituent complaints with the company.

“TPE has therefore lost the confidence of travellers in the north and I fully support the decision to bring TPE under government control."