England

Passenger anger as trains miss last stops to Rugeley

Claire Phillips Image copyright Claire Phillips
Image caption Claire Phillips pays £900 annually to travel by train to Birmingham

Rail passengers in Staffordshire say they are "disgusted" at regularly being ordered off trains to make up for earlier delays.

Claire Phillips, from Rugeley, said she had been late home three times this week alone after being told to get off two stops earlier at Hednesford.

"There's loads of us affected and we're really annoyed," she said.

West Midlands Trains said some late trains were turned around at Hednesford to stop more passengers being impacted.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Claire Phillips pays to commute from Rugeley Town

The company overhauled services after taking over the franchise in December 2017, including linking Wolverhampton to London Euston.

But Ms Phillips, who pays £900 annually to commute between Rugeley Town and Birmingham, said the service had gone downhill.

"Every other day we've got to Hednesford the train has stopped and we've been kicked off," she said.

"It wasn't like this before West Midlands Trains. It was great, but now it's just unreliable and disgusting really.

"I saw on Twitter that one man missed his daughter going off to prom because of the delays and cancellations."

Image copyright West Midlands Rail
Image caption West Midlands Railway said it was "declassifying" some first class services on peak-time trains from Euston to improve capacity

West Midlands Trains admitted the Chase Line service between Euston and Rugeley Trent Valley was under performing since a May timetable change but insisted the situation was improving.

Between 24 May and 2 July - 64 [7.5%] of 847 trains on the route "stopped short of their destination", many of these at Hednesford, or were cancelled, it said.

A spokeswoman said it was looking at ways to reduce the need for turning round late-running trains at Hednesford "but we don't want to make any snap decisions or changes that may have a knock on impact elsewhere on the network - so this work is ongoing".

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

More on this story