Lichfield MP calls for long-term solutions for rail passengers

Londond Midland train. Pic: Ben Coulson

Londond Midland train. Pic: Ben Coulson

Lichfield’s MP has called on a train operator to provide long-term solutions to passengers.

Michael Fabricant – who has long campaigned on the standard of services provided to rail travellers in the city – made is comments in response to a statement by Lord Adonis.

The Secretary of State for the Department of Transport spoke after cancellations across a number of London Midland services during September.

Lord Adonis said:

“The performance of London Midland on September 6 fell short of its customers’ expectations and was unacceptable to both passengers and Government.

“I have issued London Midland with a Remedial Plan Notice for exceeding the Franchise Agreement threshold on cancellations.  This requires London Midland to submit to me a Remedial Plan for addressing the level of cancellations.  Discussions are at an advanced stage on a range of measures to be implemented within the Remedial Plan.

“Secondly, a package of additional benefits for passengers has been agreed, including an additional franchise agreement obligation to invest in new, and additional, high-quality information equipment and a promotion for 50,000 day rover tickets for travel over the Christmas period. London Midland will also make available an additional 400,000 Advance Purchase tickets over the next two years on some of the most popular routes.”

Mr Fabricant claimed that while short term ticket offers will be welcomed, long term solutions will be key. He explained:

“The so called ‘remedial plan’ will be the key. Cheap ticket promotions are all very well, but what commuters want is reliability of service. They want to know that if they get on a London Midland train, it will arrive on time and not end up stopping half way through the journey with passengers being told to leave the train because it won’t reach its final destination.

“I welcome the provision of better station signs particularly at Lichfield Trent Valley station where there is no visual indication on the platforms regarding the arrival and departure times of individual trains. But it will all be pretty pointless if the signs simply say: TRAIN CANCELLED.”

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