LNWR bosses say improvements are still on track for Northampton train travellers

Train bosses are still promising things WILL get better for Northampton commuters.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 3:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 3:26 pm
Northampton commuters are promised improvements are still on track

Passengers vented their frustration as last year's delays and cancellations continued into 2020 on London Northwestern Railway services.

Yet the numbers are getting better compared to last year when the company struggled to cope with the introduction of a complex new timetable.

LNWR's head of customer experience Jonny Wiseman said: "We are working hard to make the travelling experience better for our customers at Northampton and across the wider network.

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"We recognise the timetable we introduced in May 2019 did not work as intended and we have compensated our passengers by discounting season tickets while we improve our performance.

"We have recently brought in 16 extra carriages on our West Coast Main Line routes and made a number of changes to our timetable to increase capacity and improve performance. Further timetable changes and the introduction of more new carriages across the network will follow later this year."

Wednesday's problems started with a driver being unavailable at short notice to take over an early-morning train from Coventry at Northampton heading to London Euston, forcing the service to be cancelled.

Following services then struggled to cope with overcrowding, leading to more delays at stations on the way to Euston.

One passenger ranted on Twitter: "What a difference a year makes .... use to be outrage if a train was a couple of mins late, now we are just grateful it turned up even if it is 6mins late and overcrowded!"

LNWR tried to appease season-ticket holders by discounting 2020 prices to cancel out the average 2.8 per cent fares increase which kicked in last week.

And they are also exploring options to compensate non-season ticket holders in addition to their Delay Repay scheme, offering full or partial refunds for delays of over 15 minutes.

LNWR is confident there is light at the end of the tunnel.

In addition to the 16 extra carriages delivered during December, a further 24 more are due to be added to the fleet in the next couple of months. And more drivers have been recruited to help alleviate staff shortages.

Bosses also admit sorting out problems with the timetable may take more time, despite tweaks last month, but are confident the next timetable due to be introduced in May 2020 will be a massive improvement.