Tough penalties could be handed out if train delays and cancellations continue

IF the recent delays and cancellations on the London Midland Service between Redditch and Birmingham are not sorted tough penalties will be handed out.

That was the message from Minister for Transport Norman Baker, who acknowledged the current issues surrounding delayed train services are not good enough.

Redditch MP Karen Lumley, who said she has a “hardline stance” on the issue, received the guarantee from the Minister last week.

In a letter he said that “if London Midland's poor performance causes it to breach its contract that the Department should take action against the operator” adding that financial penalties could be used.

The letter also highlights that the Minister is watching the situation extremely closely.

The Advertiser reported earlier this month that passengers have faced weeks of cancellations and disruptions due to driver shortages.

Mrs Lumley said: “Since the first delays took place, I have taken a hardline stance on this issue.

“As a result of this, I am pleased that the Department for Transport have informed me they are now watching the situation extremely closely.”

She added: “Meeting Patrick Verwer, the managing director of London Midland, earlier in the month he promised that after December 9 all train services will be running on time and that there will be no more delays.

“The Minister has highlighted that if this promise is broken then he has all options on the table including the possibility of financial penalty or worse.

“I know how important reliable train services are for our town and both Patrick Verwer and Minister Norman Baker are fully aware that I will not cease campaigning until trains are running both on schedule and on time.”

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