This week, Amanda Milling MP held an urgent meeting with the Trains Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris MP and Department for Transport officials to discuss the ongoing chaos passengers are facing on the Chase Line. The Cannock Chase MP stressed how unacceptable the disruption is, as passengers continue to face severe delays, cancellations and early terminations on the line.
During the meeting, timetable changes were discussed as well as short term operational measures to alleviate the underlying reliability in the service. Since the meeting West Midlands Trains have announced that the London services from the Chase Line will be removed in the May 2020 timetable.
Amanda Milling said: “My meeting with the Minister was an opportunity to highlight the unacceptable chaos that passengers on the Chase Line are facing. Whilst the new 4 carriage electric trains are very welcome unfortunately the timetable is a disaster. The service is so unreliable that passengers are losing faith and using other methods of transport and other train lines. The provision of the London service has totally undermined the reliability of the Chase Line service and is having a severe impact on passengers’ work and home lives. I am therefore pleased that West Midlands Trains have announced the changes to the May 2020 timetable, which will see the London service removed.”
The Cannock Chase MP did stress to the Minister that passengers should not be expected to suffer the current level of service until May 2020 and that the December timetable should be reviewed and, in the short term, other operational contingency measures implemented.
The Cannock Chase MP added: “I travelled from my office in Hednesford back home to Rugeley last Friday evening and experienced the misery of the disruption for myself. I met with passengers at Rugeley Town who were left stranded by cancelled trains. Passengers can’t be expected to put up with this until next May so it is imperative that additional measures are looked at to improve the level of service – this is a point I stressed in my meeting with the Minister.”
Amanda will continue to put pressure on West Midlands Trains and Network Rail to implement solutions to address the current disruption. She will also be attending the public drop-in event next week in Rugeley. The session is on Friday 13th September, from 2pm until 7.30pm, at Lea Hall Miners Welfare Centre and Social Club in Rugeley. The Cannock Chase MP has urged passengers to contact her about their experiences.
Amanda continued: “Passengers have shared with me some shocking stories of their experiences using the Chase Line. I have been raising these cases with West Midlands Trains. I would urge anyone who has experienced disruption to get in contact with me as it helps me put pressure on the train operator.”
To share experiences of disruption Cannock Chase residents should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01543 877142.