Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

London Midland loses right to run Crewe service

London Midland loses right to run Crewe service

"Numerous early problems first encountered by London Midland were resolved in recent years, but the new franchise will offer substantial improvements to passengers in the region".

New local branding and a new livery will be introduced for WMR services and there will be feasibility studies into the opening of new stations in the West Midlands.

Two train companies had been in the running for the West Midlands franchise after MTR Corporation West Midlands withdrew its bid a year ago.

Richard Harrington has called the news "a real victory" as it will see an investment of £1bn and investment and new, longer trains.

"We will be investing almost £1 billion into the network, delivering new trains, better stations and a whole host of other benefits for passengers".

Yesterday Go Ahead said it was disappointed to lose the West Midlands contract, which it ran with partner Keolis under the name Govia, claiming it had "delivered significant improvements".

Hundreds of new train carriages will be rolled out across the Midlands for an extra 85,000 passengers following an investment of nearly £1bn in the network by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The franchise was awarded to a joint venture between Abellio, East Japan Railway Company and Misui and Co Ltd. Govia will continue to run the trains until December this year.

General secretary Mick Cash said: "The union has already made it clear that we will fight any moves to de-staff trains and stations on the new franchise and we will be looking to secure assurances from the company before they take over in a few months" time'.

"When it comes to our local train services we have not had this level of local influence and management before and it fits with the wider powers and responsibilities now being transferred from Whitehall to the West Midlands".

There will be more than 180 new train carriages for the West Midlands, creating more space for people.

"Over the coming months our focus will remain on delivering the best possible service to our passengers, each day and every day".

The new operator has promised to invest £1 billion in the network, including new carriages and additional services to alleviate congestion on a variety of lines as well as new direct rush-hour services between London and Walsall.

"We are improving the whole travelling experience with live train crowding information, compensation for people delayed by 15 minutes or more, smart ticketing and better value tickets for part-time workers".

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant said: "The new West Midlands trains franchise which will replace London Midland will undoubtedly benefit commuters from Lichfield Trent Valley and Lichfield City stations with 100 new carriages on the Cross City Line and compensation if there are delays of over 15 minutes".

"I believe this deal will help create a railway that cannot only improve people's journeys but keep our economy growing and we look forward to working with West Midlands Trains in making that happen".

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