Shropshire MP welcomes action on train company
A Shropshire MP has welcomed a Government order for a train operator to spend and extra £20 million on improving services.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has ordered West Midlands Trains to spend an extra £20 million on bringing its services up to scratch and compensating passengers after failing to meet its contractual performance levels.
Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, praised the Government’s decision to intervene.
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The operator, which runs local services throughout the West Midlands and Shropshire, has been heavily criticised for severe delays and train cancellations during the second half of last year.
Mr Shapps ordered the company to spend £20m to improve service and compensate passengers after failing to meet contractual performance levels for several months.
As part of a package of measures, passengers will be offered a 10 per cent reduction in off-peak fares in July and August 2020, and the three per cent season ticket discount announced in January will be extended to all season tickets renewals until December 30 this year.
In addition, the company agreed to recruit extra drivers and senior conductors and will be making a series of timetable changes.
Mr Pritchard said: “I welcome the Government’s intervention following West Midlands Trains’ underperformance.
"I am particularly pleased by West Midlands Trains’ new commitment to deliver better services and timetables, and to deploy more staff.
"I will not support any extension of their franchise unless services improve, which includes putting more carriages on trains and running more trains at peak hours.
"My constituents have suffered for too long and they need to see positive change in services without delay.”