Michael Fabricant met in Lichfield this afternoon (Friday 13th June) with
Nick Brown (Managing Director) and Nigel Pennington (Director, West Midlands
Services) of Central Trains Limited to discuss the level of service between
the two Lichfield stations and Birmingham. Mr Fabricant has received a
number of complaints from constituents concerning trains which stopped short
of Lichfield City Station and Lichfield Trent Valley Station, cancelled
services, and late running services.
"Both directors admitted to me that there were problems which peaked in
November and December last year with a greater reliability being achieved by
March." says Michael Fabricant. "I told both directors how disappointed
local commuters and I feel with the level of service particularly at that
time and they admitted there have been problems with the track, the trains
themselves, and with the crew. However, they believe that they are
beginning to resolve these issues though there may be further problems this
coming autumn due to those infamous leaves on the line which seem to present
a real problem on the Lichfield to Redditch track.
"In particular, I expressed my deep concern about trains from Birmingham not
reaching their destination – either stopping short at Blake Street and not
reaching Lichfield at all or getting as far as Lichfield City leaving
commuters stranded while their cars are parked at Trent Valley.
"I was told that a new timetable and a system of better informing customers
as to where a train will terminate is being introduced and I hope that this
will lead to a more reliable and predictable service for commuters.
Meanwhile, I will continue to keep the level of service under close review
and may be calling for further meetings.", Michael added. "Clearly, while
there have recently been some major improvements, the train service to
Birmingham and beyond continues to present some problems and this will not
be resolved overnight".