UK: West Midlands Trains must spend an extra £20m on improving services for passengers as a penalty for breaching its performance targets, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on February 9.
The £20m will be used for a variety of measures including compensating passengers by offering a 3% discount on season ticket renewals and a 10% reduction on off-peak fares during July and August 2020; a series of timetable improvements; recruitment of additional drivers and senior conductors; and investment in day-to-day operations.
‘West Midlands Trains have failed to fulfil their obligations, to their franchise agreement and, most importantly, to their passengers’, said Shapps. ‘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 spending would ‘help take some of the sting out of the frustration many passengers have felt as a result of problems created by the timetable chaos and poor performance by the rail industry’, said Transport Focus director David Sidebottom. ‘It’s now important that West Midlands Trains actively encourages passengers to claim compensation and makes it quick and easy to do so.’