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More compensation for West Midlands Trains passengers as new MD ushers in immediate performance improvements

Press release   •   Jan 28, 2020 09:50 GMT

West Midlands Trains (WMT) passengers will receive a 10 per cent discount on their travel this summer as compensation for recent poor performance, new managing director Julian Edwards has announced.

The discount will apply to the walk-up fares for every Off-Peak journey made on West Midlands Railway (WMR) and London Northwestern Railway (LNR) services throughout July and August. A further announcement regarding compensation linked to holiday periods will be made in due course. 

In addition, WMT will be running a new campaign in the coming weeks to ensure as many customers as possible apply for Delay Repay when they’re entitled to it.

These measures follow the 3 per cent reduction in the cost of weekly, monthly and annual season tickets on the network, announced last month.

The commitment from Mr Edwards comes as the National Rail Passenger Survey published today reveals a drop in overall passenger satisfaction. The survey was carried out last autumn in the aftermath of a new timetable in May 2019 which resulted in an increased number of delays and cancellations.

Mr Edwards, who took the top job at West Midlands Trains earlier this month, said:

“Our performance during the second half of last year was simply unacceptable. I’ve put in place a clear plan of improvements which is already having an impact.

“The number of trains arriving on time has increased by 29 per cent since Christmas with cancellations down by 39 per cent. Overall performance has increased by over 10 per cent.

“There is more to do, however, and we are making further timetable changes to improve performance, starting next month – with a commitment to only use skip-stopping as a last-resort and under extreme circumstances.

“This year we will also introduce brand-new trains on the network while working with the Mayor on reopening stations on the Camp Hill and Wolverhampton-Walsall lines.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

The key measures West Midlands Trains is taking to improve performance include:

  • Simplification of the timetable throughout 2020;
  • Recruiting 86 more drivers and senior conductors to improve train crew availability;
  • A reduction in instances of skip-stopping, which will only be used as a last resort in extreme circumstances;
  • Improving how the business communicates to customers, especially during delays; and
  • Introducing £700m of new and improved trains and working with the West Midlands Mayor to reopen stations around Birmingham.

For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email press.office@wmtrains.co.uk

- Discounted fares in July and August will apply to routes priced by West Midlands Trains

About West Midlands Trains

For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email press.office@wmtrains.co.uk

West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.

  • London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
  • West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.

For more information on these services visit westmidlandsrailway.co.uk or londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk

The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.

West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.

The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com

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