TRAIN operator Northern is “trying to evade responsibility” on offering compensation to passengers hit by the chaos on the region’s railways, a senior West Yorkshire politician has claimed.

Wakefield council leader Peter Box said the company was not advertising refunds to customers clearly enough.

Last week, a number of train services, which had been cut after the botched introduction of a new timetable in May, were reinstated.

But the misery for commuters has continued, with nearly half of all Transpennine services seriously delayed or cancelled on Monday. More than a fifth of Northern trains were similarly affected.

And officials from the two operators and Network Rail were told to “consider their positions” by angry councillors at a West Yorkshire Combined Authority meeting.

Northern’s performance and planning director Rob Warnes said that the company’s performance following the aborted timetable’s launch was “not something to be proud of”. But he repeated the company’s claims that Northern did not have enough carriages or trained drivers to cover the extra services in May.

He added: “We mustn’t lose sight of the fact we are getting brand new trains and we’re refurbishing the ones that we’re keeping.”

But Coun Box declared that the operator’s response was “not acceptable”.

He said: “I’ve heard a lot of excuses in my time but that tops the lot.

“You’re also being very disingenuous on compensation. People have been massively inconvenienced by all of this.

“Why haven’t you taken out full page adverts in the media telling people, ‘This is how you get compensation’? Why haven’t you been on the television explaining it?

“You’re trying to evade responsibility on compensation. It’s quite clear you’re trying to do that.

“You haven’t assured the paying public this won’t happen again.”

Mr Warnes denied the firm was ducking the issue and apologised for the continued disruption.

He added that the company had purchased new rolling stock ahead of schedule to cope with demand.

He said: “Compensation has been heavily advertised in the media and on social media. It has been advertised prominently on our website with clear instructions.

“We can have a look at whether we need to do more.

“We are working really hard to get as many trains into our system as possible.”