As a result of poor services and bad experiences for passengers, the Transport secretary Grant Shapps has requested that West Midlands Trains invests an additional £20m to make improvements.
As a result, this funding will improve the experience for passengers in relation to timetables and new train drivers to help deal with staff shortages. What’s more, there will also be discounts on season tickets and off-peak fares as a way of compensating for the dire service they have received.
This is a clear indication that the Department for Transport is aiming to take action on those operators who fall way below the expected standards when it comes to performance and the way in which it has an impact on passengers. Along with this, action will also be taken should they fail to meet their contractual obligations.
Therefore, the £20m will be used to:
- Give compensation to passengers through a 3% discount on season ticket renewals.
- Make improvements to the timetable, with changes in place for May 2020 and December 2020
- Employ additional conductors as well as drivers to help deal with the staff shortages
- Invest in day to day operations in order to create a more reliable service
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “One of my priorities is getting the trains to run on time, and as a commuter myself I understand all too well the frustration caused by endless delays and cancellations.
“West Midlands Trains have failed to fulfil their obligations – to their franchise agreement and, most importantly, to their passengers. The action we’re taking means they must invest in rapidly improving services so that passengers have reliable, punctual trains they can rely on.”
The Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has monitored the performance of West Midlands Trains and is concerned and so, the action is being taken as a way of ensuring they fulfil their commitments so that passengers get the service they expect and deserve.
The delays have become frequent and passengers are being constantly let down by poor service, all of which has to be put right. As a result, the trains must run on time as a rule and not the exception. Despite all of this, this is a warning that other operators should take notice of.