West Midlands Trains

PCC defends calling hearing after train firm's no-show

The West Midlands Police and Crime commissioner's defended holding a public hearing into problems with West Midlands Trains (WMT) to which the operator didn't turn up.

Rail travel meeting
BBC

David Jamieson called today's meeting after hundreds of responses to a survey he started following months of delays and cancellations.

But, despite inviting train companies to appear, none of them turned up but instead provided reports.

Mr Jamieson said what they did get was a strong feeling of how passengers feel about the services.

"What was clear from the witness we heard from the public is how utterly disappointed they are a) with the train service and b) with the feedback they get about what is done to improve it," he said.

WMT said earlier this month it had already improved and had developed a "robust recovery plan".

Criticised rail operator 'under review'

The West Midlands mayor says he's keeping a rail operator under review following his ultimatum he would report it to the government if it didn't improve performance.

In a letter to the transport secretary Grant Shapps, Andy Street says delays and cancellations aren't as bad as they were. But he adds he will not hesitate to request that West Midlands Trains loses its franchise should last year’s problems return.

West Midlands Railway
West Midlands Trains

Julian Edwards, managing director of West Midlands Trains, said: “We are pleased the mayor recognises we are moving in the right direction. We are determined to sustain this progress, starting with more performance-improving timetable changes this month."

Customer satisfaction plummets for West Midlands Trains

The amount of passengers satisfied with the punctuality of West Midlands Trains has nosedived to 60% - the worst satisfaction rating for punctuality in the country, according to a new report.

The rating dropped by 15% between autumn 2018 and autumn 2019, with the company facing recent criticism for delays and cancellations.

Figures in the most recent survey of rail customers by passenger group Transport Focus also show the number of people satisfied with their West Midlands Rail journey fell by 11% to 73% during the same period.

Only Northern Rail produced a worse figure.

West Midlands Train
BBC

West Midlands Trains has promised to recruit more staff and said part of the problem was the introduction of new timetables in May.

Rail company offers cheap tickets as performance apology

Some West Midlands Trains passengers will get a 10% discount this summer to apologise for poor service performance.

The company has been criticised for delays, cancellations and overcrowding in recent months and the National Rail Passenger Survey, published today, reveals a drop in overall passenger satisfaction.

West Midlands Train
BBC

The new managing director of West Midlands Trains, Julian Edwards, said: “Our performance during the second half of last year was simply unacceptable."

The company said the problems were caused by the introduction of a new timetable and staffing issues. It has promised to recruit more people in the first part of this year.

The discount will be available to people buying their tickets on the day, throughout July and August.

Date set for hearing into 'chaotic' rail service

Allen Cook

BBC News

A date's been fixed for a public hearing into what a police and crime commissioner describes as the "chaotic" services provided by West Midlands Trains.

David Jamieson with an officer on a platform
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

The West Midlands Labour PCC David Jamieson said in December he was worried about safety at crowded stations.

Since asking for people's experiences, he's said he's had 1,000 responses to a survey following months of delays and cancellations.

West Midlands Trains has said improvements are being made and £1bn would be invested in this year.

The operator's been invited to the hearing, along with passenger groups, which will be held on 21 February from 13:30 at Lloyd House, Birmingham.

'Hundreds complain' about rail firm's service

BBC Midlands Today

Hundreds of people have sent in complaints about West Midlands Trains in the past 48 hours, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) said.

Train passengers
BBC

David Jamieson says he plans to go ahead with a public hearing about problems with the operator, having previously cited concerns over public safety due to overcrowding.

Since appealing for passengers to send in their experiences online, his office says it's received 650 complaints.

West Midlands Trains has acknowledged issues with services but says commuters will start to see the benefits of a £1bn investment programme which includes new trains and increased compensation for delays and cancellation.

Call for evidence on 'chaotic' train service

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner says he intends to press ahead with a public hearing about the "chaotic" services provided by West Midlands Trains.

West Midlands train
West Midlands Rail

Labour's David Jamieson said he has already voiced concerns about public safety and overcrowded platforms and trains, "which has got worse".

He and the leader of Birmingham City Council, Ian Ward, are now asking rail users to come forward and share their experiences.

"I share the public’s extreme concern and frustration in regard to failing timetables, dangerous overcrowded trains and platforms where commuters are often stranded by trains which turn up late or don’t arrive at all," he said.

The rail operator has previously blamed staffing problems, infrastructure works and a new timetable introduced in May, which it said was too complex.

Members of the public can submit their evidence here.

PM says 'bell is tolling' for 'woeful' rail firm

BBC Politics

Conservative MP Harriett Baldwin called on Boris Johnson to look at taking away the contract from West Midlands Trains.

PMQs: Johnson and Baldwin on West Midlands rail franchise

The MP for West Worcestershire said the firm, that operates across the Midlands and has services to London and Liverpool, had been "absolutely woeful".

He replied that the "bell is tolling for West Midlands Rail", in his second question on trains during PMQs, where he said other franchises were under review.