No annual price rise for Northampton railway season ticket holders as compensation for poor performance
As a compensation for West Midlands Trains' poor performance, season ticket holders from Northampton will not have to pay the national fares rise from today (Thursday, January 2).
The West Midlands and London Northwestern railways operator is discounting weekly, monthly and annual season tickets by three per cent to cover the annual 2.8 per cent increase.
West Midlands Trains managing director Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde said: “In recognition of the poor performance, this compensation package for our regular customers when they renew their season tickets will offset the national fares rise.
"We have said for some time now that performance and timekeeping since the May 2019 timetable has not been good enough.
"The timetable added too much complexity which means that even minor delays transmit through the network.
"Some changes were made in the December 2019 timetable change to remove the complexity, and to add capacity, but the most significant changes to reintroduce simplicity will be implemented in the May 2020 timetable.
"I apologise again to customers for the poor performance and cancellations since May."
Network Rail said a fifth of West Midlands trains had failed to arrive on time, with passengers experiencing cancellations and strike action.
There will also be a summer ticket promotion in recognition the poor performance has affected more than just season ticket holders to be announced in due course, a spokesman said.
These compensation packages are in addition to the £2.5m West Midlands Trains has paid in Delay Repay claims since May.
Earlier this month, the train company began operating a new simplified timetable designed to reduce delays and cancellations.
It also introduced 16 additional carriages to create more capacity, while a further 24 carriages will be added in the first few months of 2020.
Mr Chaudhry-van der Velde added: "As well as the timetable simplification in May, 2020 will also see the arrival of the first of our new trains, boosting capacity on our diesel services in the West Midlands."