MP hits out at 'disappointment' over improved Chase railway line

Written by on June 13, 2019

A concerned MP has revealed she has had an influx of complaints regarding the new electrified Chase Line – just weeks after newly improved services were launched. 

Last month electric trains started running the rail rack, which travels between Birmingham and Rugeley, in a bid to improve services after a major investment by West Midlands Trains. A new timetable of trains was also launched.

But just weeks into the new era for the line local MP Amanda Milling says she has received numerous concerns from users about a number of issues including cancellations, delays and capacity problems on the trains. 

One of the issues, she revealed, was that some of the trains were not going all the way to Rugeley.

The MP for Cannock Chase said on her Facebook page: “After two weeks of the new electrified service on the Chase Line I have been very disappointed to learn about the various issues passengers have faced. 

“I have received many messages here on Facebook and in emails sent to me directly regarding capacity issues (despite 4 carriages on all trains), delayed trains and part cancelled trains (with trains not continuing through to Rugeley).

“I would like to reassure you that I have been reporting all of these issues to West Midlands Trains, and will continue to do so, and will lobby them to get these problems addressed.”


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Mrs Milling said she would meet with West Midlands Trains bosses in the coming weeks to discuss the problems raised.

“I will be meeting with representatives from West Midlands Trains in the next couple of weeks, where I will be sure to raise these issues,” she added.

“We have waited for a long time for the improvements to the line, and faced a lot of disruption too, so I don’t want the service to be as frustrating for passengers as it was before the electrification.”

  
Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, admitted that more trains had been delayed or cancelled than hoped for and more changes could be made in the future.

He said: “Since the introduction of our new timetable last month, we have been closely monitoring the impact of the changes – with regards both the number of passengers on our services and punctuality.

“Unfortunately, more trains than we had hoped for have been delayed or cancelled between Hednesford and Rugeley since 19 May and we appreciate that this has impacted our passengers.        

“In response to feedback, we are seriously considering what can be done to improve our performance on the Chase Line, now that services have been operating to the new timetable for a number of weeks.

“The electrification of the line and increase in carriages throughout the day was a much-anticipated improvement, enabling new through services to operate to more destinations.  Overall capacity has increased on the line, however, the popularity of some services has meant that trains have still been busy at certain times and we are looking at what can be done to ease this.

“We will be discussing the concerns raised when we meet with Amanda Milling over the coming weeks and will continue to gather feedback from passengers across our network to inform future improvements across our network.”

What do you think of the Chase Line? Email you thoughts to nigel.slater@reachplc.com.

 

Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio Newsdesk via Staffordshire Live Headlines

From: https://www.staffordshire-live.co.uk/news/local-news/chase-line-train-railway-2976908


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