THE head of customer experience at West Midlands Trains (WMT) has promised passengers in Bromsgrove and Droitwich will be among the first to ride the operator’s new trains.
David Whitley told the Standard the stock would be rolled out on the Hereford to New Street Line to begin with as it was one of the most problematic and therefore needed to be ‘fixed’ first.
“We know there’s still a huge problem with not having enough carriages and overcrowding,” he said.
“We’re still waiting for the trains we ordered back in 2017 to arrive but customers in Droitwich and Bromsgrove will be the first to experience those when they do.”
The new trains are expected to be more comfortable, have more space, better WiFi and plug sockets for customers to charge their equipment.
The Government recently told WMT that it must spend an extra £20m improving services and reducing delays.
Cash will be spent on recruiting up to 80 new drivers, improving reliability, reducing congestion and offering customers fare reduction offers.
Mr Whitley agreed with the Government’s decision and apologised to customers on behalf of WMT, admitting ‘the service has not been good enough’.
“We’re not going to fix the problems overnight but we are going to fix them.
“Since December we are now running an extra 1,000 trains on time.”
When asked if the ultimatum given by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street in December was the reason for the improvements, Mr Whitley said the timing was purely coincidental.
“Plans to improve the service, some of which are only just coming into effect now, have been in place as far back as last summer.
“We soon realised the May 2019 timetable change was over-ambitious and immediately began working to correct it.”