London Midland cancellations set to hit Lichfield rail services

Londond Midland train. Pic: Ben Coulson

Londond Midland train. Pic: Ben Coulson

Lichfield rail passengers are being warned of disruptions after London Midland announced the cancellation of all services on Sunday.

A lack of staff means all services on the company’s 1,200 routes across the country have been cancelled on September 6.

Many of London Midland’s Sunday staff are voluntary, but the company has admitted that very few staff have volunteered to work on this particular date.

Although unions have used similar tactics as part of industrial action, it is not thought to be the reason behind the disruption to this weekend’s services.

London Midland’s director of operations Andy Thomas said:

“We apologise for the disruption to our services this Sunday and we are doing everything we can to provide alternative arrangements for passengers. All our services will be running again from September 7.”

The rail operator are attempting to put on replacement buses, but people are urged to check the London Midland website or call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 for the latest news on individual routes.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

7 Comments

  1. Warren

    4th September, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    I don’t normally comment on stories as I like the Blog to be impartial. However I feel like I should comment on here as me (not Tamworth Blog).

    Last weekend I suffered at the hands of London Midland because of engineering work and a two hour journey changed to a 7 hour coach journey via Tring.. We opted to cash tickets in and drive, less hastle!

    This weekend, they don’t have enough staff? Who has staff volunteer to work on a Sunday and if they don’t get enough simply close? This isn’t acceptable. Many people rely on the trains, even at weekends. Surely they can adopt a rota like most businesses?

    Privatisation of our railways hasn’t seen them modernised, they are still working in the mid 20th century when Sunday everything closed…

    I also posted this on Tamworth Blog

  2. Michael Fabricant

    5th September, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I don’t think privatisation has anything to do with it!! The old British Rail were permanantly strike ridden. It is due to the old Silverlink and Central Trains not having a Sunday working agreement and the NUR (Union) being intransigent. Unfortunately, London-Midland took over those two franchises. I was told by Steve Branaghan (the managing director who has just moved on from London-Midland) that that they are the only two railway companies not to make a Sunday working agreement. Virgin, GWR, and other companies are all privatised and they all run reliably……… I hope this matter will be resolved soon.

  3. BrownhillsBob

    5th September, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Of course it’s because of privatisation.

    London Midland, like the two franchisees before it, have no incentive to sort out the mess that is their Sunday working agreement. This has been going on for over 10 years, and the idea that it was all so much worse in the bad old BR days is hokum. Bustitution, staff shortages and irascibility between workforce and management are just symptoms of a company trying to cut every corner it can to make a profit and to hell with the travelling public.

    It all goes belly up once you splinter everything in to smaller companies which are profit driven.

  4. Captain Pugwash

    5th September, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    To be fair London Midland inherited this from Central Trains. However, to provide a normal Sunday service they would have to increase the number of drivers and guards at all depots and have the consent of the unions to put Sundays in the working week and the unions will need the consent of the staff. Again to be fair the drivers union ASLE&F does have the requirement for Sunday working to be normal as part of their charter. So, London Midland have a choice: Negotiate for Sundays to be part of the working week and recruit new traincrew which will cost a great deal of money or leave it as it is and provide cheap buses and apologies.

  5. BrownhillsBob

    5th September, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    It doesn’t help that apparently, London Midland have ceased to pay double time for Sundays and are now surprised that they can’t get people to volunteer to work the day…

  6. Captain Pugwash

    5th September, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Indeed, and just to put this in perspective London Midland are receiving around half a million pounds per day subsidy over the length of the franchise. Taxpayers money, and in an effort to protect the managements salary and bonuses they will continue to try and blame traincrew who are merely refusing overtime and working to their contracts. If the residents of the areas that London Midland serve want a reliable Sunday service then they should lobby the management. Get them to negotiate, recruit and get the trains running as they should.

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