Rail chiefs have refused to speak to a regional daily over transport “chaos” on its patch after choosing only to do interviews with broadcast media.
The MEN says Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne has also refused to speak to its journalists during the ongoing “chaos” which has seen major disruption caused to rail services in the North of England after timetable changes were introduced last month.
In a piece taking Northern Rail to task over its media policy, MEN transport reporter Charlotte Cox said that Mr Brown, and regional director Liam Sumpter, had both been “happy” to talk to its journalists in the past.
Wrote Charlotte: “Following the recent chaos on the network, Mr Brown is no longer willing to meet with our reporters. We have been repeatedly rebuffed, with the company telling us Mr Brown doesn’t have time.
“Instead, the Northern press office declined the opportunity and offered instead a Q&A in which we could send a list of questions via email. However, on Monday, Mr Brown found the time to speak to the BBC Breakfast and BBC 5 Live.”
In response, a Northern Rail press officer told the MEN: “We’ve done solely broadcast. There was the opportunity to go on BBC Breakfast and once we were in the BBC system other opportunities arose.
“It was just that we wanted to have David on broadcast where it was live or prerecorded on TV and on the radio. We haven’t done any print.”
Network Rail told the MEN it were preparing a statement but could not put a “boss” up for interview.
The MEN’s piece comes after more than 20 northern newspapers united to call from government action on the issue.
The campaign hashtag #onenorth was at one time trending nationally on Twitter yesterday.