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No end in sight as Lichfield train passengers continue to suffer delays

A senior boss at train operator London Midland has said the company will continue to do its best for passengers as disruption to services continues.

The company have been unable to run trains on a number of routes – including the cross-city line to Lichfield and the London Euston line through Lichfield Trent Valley – due to a dispute with drivers’ union ASLEF.

The row surrounds the issue of overtime payments to train drivers and shows no signs of reaching a conclusion – meaning passengers face even more delays.

London Midland’s director of operations and safety, Wallace Weatherill, said:

“We’re sorry that the unrealistic demands of the union are causing these problems. We will continue to do our best for our passengers in the circumstances.”

But an ASLEF spokesman insisted the dispute will not be resolved while an unfair pay structure exists.

Mick Whelan from the union explained:

“London Midland is made up of two previous franchises, Silverlink and Central Trains. We have been negotiating for three years to harmonise the conditions of drivers from the two companies – over 600 in all – but our efforts have been resisted by management all the way.

“Some drivers are being paid £1,200 less than other drivers for doing exactly the same job. It is a ludicrous situation and we will be taking strike action to demonstrate the strength of feeling of our membership at London Midland.”

But passengers have been given a glimmer of hope after the train operator called for ASLEF to return to the table for discussions.

Mr Weatherill added:

“Our message is very simple – we want to meet with ASLEF and Acas and resolve this issue to put an end to the disruption for our passengers.

“If ASLEF is committed to finding a resolution I don’t understand why they are not prepared to meet. We want to reach an agreement. There is a deal to be done here, but ASLEF has to be realistic in its demands.”

A full list of delays and services affected can be found on the London Midland website.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.