AN UNDER-fire rail chief has apologised to long-suffering Worcester commuters following a string of serious delays and cancellations to trains across Worcestershire.
Great Western Railways managing director Mark Hopwood made the apology during a meeting with south Worcestershire MPs including Worcester MP Robin Walker.
The line has been beset by reliability issues in recent months, with a number of Worcester commuters contacting Mr Walker to pass on their concerns and call for an urgent improvement in performance.
Great Western acknowledged recent performance had not been good enough and apologised to commuters and revealed efforts to address delays and cancellations, including speeding up driver training – which is now complete at the Worcester depot.
Increased efforts to communicate better with customers is also on the timetable for the company with ‘Meet the Manager’ events to be held at a number of local stations with details to be advertised on station noticeboards.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Walker said: “A good number of my constituents rely on these services to commute to work and visit friends and family and I know how important reliability is to individuals and businesses and so I have been clear with the operator that recent delays and cancellations have not been good enough.”
“Great Western accept this and have set out a number of measures that should see reliability now improving.
“The new depot at Worcester, which has become the first hub to complete driver training on the new Intercity Express Trains, recognises the importance of the North Cotswold line and I look forward to an opportunity to visit and see the improvements for myself shortly.”
“Great Western remain a key partner in the development of the new Worcestershire Parkway station which is still on track to open next year, and I look forward to seeing the improvements in reliability, performance and journey times that my constituents have been calling for and which GWR assure me are being delivered,” he added.
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