An under-fire train operator has been warned it could be punished, if it does not get a grip on a desperate shortage of drivers, which has seen hundreds of services cancelled since last month.
London Midland – running trains through stations including Berkswell and Marston Green – has had to axe over 500 trains since October 7. Routes affected by cancellations and shortened services include the Birmingham New Street to London Euston line, which passes through Birmingham International.
The problems have infuriated commuters and drawn criticism from politicians, but the drastic action has been blamed by rail bosses on a lack of qualified drivers.
Now the matter has been raised in the House of Commons, with the situation branded “absolutely atrocious” in one heated exchange. Andrew Lansley, leader of the Commons, said: “London Midland is not yet technically in breach of its obligations, but if improvements are not seen in very short order, the DfT will need to consider taking action against the train operator.”