West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has hit out over continued chaos on local rail services, saying that ‘the failing West Midlands transport system has now become a danger to public safety.’
The Police and Crime Commissioner has threatened to use his powers to hold a public hearing into the chaos to drive improvements like he did in 2016 over failures with the region’s motorway network.
If services do not significantly improve over the coming days, the PCC plans to announce a public hearing in the New Year to put real pressure on those running the region’s transport system.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said: “The failing West Midlands transport system has now become a danger to public safety.
“Like the public I am fed up with dangerous, overcrowded trains and the ineffective actions by the public bodies in charge of the region’s transport network.
“The chaos on the region’s rail network is becoming dangerous, crowded platforms and stranded commuters have been put at risk by lamentably bad services in recent weeks.
“I am concerned about the impact it has had on public safety and I have received reports of officers struggling to make it to their shifts on time. This is hurting our economy too.
“Inevitably the chaos on the trains has convinced people to revert to back to their cars, which is adding to traffic problems and the smooth running of the road network.
“As a former Transport Minister I understand how to get things done with the rail industry. Unless they significantly improve their act over the coming days, I will hold a public hearing in the New Year.
“If the improvements do not happen, I will be formally asking rail users groups and the public for their experiences, I will also be asking for evidence from the Safer Travel Partnership, as well as the West Midlands Combined Authority and rail operators.
“Those running the services and in charge of overseeing them need to be held to account.”
Between 10 November and 7 December, 2019 across West Midlands Railway services less than half of the trains were on time and 1,521 trains were cancelled – Source
On 16 December West Midlands Railway has shared the first glimpse of the new state-of-the-art trains which will arrive in the region next year. The company has ordered 26 diesel trains, known as Class 196s which will run between Hereford & Birmingham.