Commenting on London-Midland’s cancellation of all the Sunday train
services between Lichfield and London and most other parts of their
network on September 6th, Michael Fabricant says: "This failure of
their service is unacceptable and breaches all the assurances and
promises given to me and the Department of Transport on the future of
their Sunday train timetable. Their contract should be withdrawn and be
given to an alternative company.
"When I last met Steve Banaghan, Managing Director of London-Midland,
back in March, he outlined the difficulties they are encountering.
However, he offered hope as to the future reliability of their service.
In particular, he said that the introduction of the new timetable on
Sunday May 17th would resolve many of their problems and herald a
consistent Sunday service."
Michael continues: "This has not come about. Indeed, I now understand
that Steve Banaghan has moved on. And while I wish his successor – Mike
Hodson – well, the present situation cannot be allowed to continue any
longer. It is causing real distress to students, businessmen, and
tourists needing to travel on Sundays. It follows on from a stream of
cancellations and delays over the past year.
"It was for that reason that I asked Virgin Trains to provide an
additional back-up service at around 6pm each Sunday down to London from
Lichfield and I am delighted that it will almost certainly be
incorporated in their December timetable."
"But one reliable train is not enough. I am now calling on Lord Adonis
– Secretary of State for Transport – to withdraw the contract from
London-Midland and offer it to a company such as Virgin Trains or some
other company who have a proven track record of running a reliable
Sunday train service. After all the disruption, sacrifice and noise
residents were forced to endure caused by the four-tracking of the main
line by Lichfield, the present debacle cannot be allowed to drift on any