Bromsgrove rail users urged to get earlier train to ease Christmas burden

By Tristan Harris Wednesday 04 December 2013 Updated: 06/12 11:33

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Buy photos » The Bromsgrove to Birmingham train on Saturday was so packed people were turned away. Picture by Neil Gordon. s

TRAINS from Bromsgrove to Birmingham on the last two Saturdays have been so packed with Christmas shoppers and those going to the German market that people have had to be turned away from services.

London Midland confirmed to The Standard it has had its highest ever passenger numbers in the last week since taking over the franchise in November 2007.

A spokesperson for the operator said: “The Christmas markets in both Birmingham and Worcester have clearly acted as a major draw for local residents in the run up to the festive period, and we expect demand for Saturday services into Birmingham to remain high in the final weeks leading up to Christmas.

"Passengers in Bromsgrove who are travelling into Birmingham on Saturdays may find it useful to travel on the 11.15am service, as Bromsgrove is the starting point for this service."

We were contacted by passengers who struggled to get on the 11.43am to Birmingham both this Saturday and the one before, with one man saying between 20 and 25 people had to be turned away at because the train were so full.

One passenger, who was going clothes shopping in Birmingham with her two friends, queued at the machine and bought a ticket, only to be told she would not be able to get on.

"Everyone tried to board the train and we couldn't get on.

"We were frustrated as we needed to wait another hour - there's nothing to do at Bromsgrove Station but stand and wait."

Another said: "You have to literally fight to get on sometimes and then when you do get on there's not even enough space to take your coat off."

Mike Ponsonby, the chairman of Bromsgrove Rail Users Group (BRUG), said the group was delighted to hear that rail passenger numbers were growing, but added it was not surprised.

"The reason being is that we saw the start of this demand five years ago and that is precisely why we campaigned for a new station with at least two platforms, capable of coping with six-car trains to accommodate these increasing passenger numbers."

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