Northampton passengers get cheap summer train tickets to make up for delays
Sweetener comes on same day survey reveals just 37 per cent think LNWR giving value for money
More Northampton rail passengers will get cheap tickets this summer to make up for London Northwestern's shoddy service.
New managing director Julian Edwards announced today (Tuesday, January 28) that walk-up fares for every off-peak journey will be cut by 10 per cent during July and August.
And by then, LNWR hope to have finally sorted out the timetable chaos which has dogged their services since last May.
LNWR's parent company West Midlands Trains has already discounted season ticket prices by three per cent this year, effectively cancelling out the annual inflation-linked price rise.
Mr Edwards, who took the top job at LNWR earlier this month, said: “Our performance during the second half of last year was simply unacceptable. I’ve put in place a clear plan of improvements which is already having an impact.
“The number of trains arriving on time has increased by 29 per cent since Christmas with cancellations down by 39 per cent. Overall performance has increased by over 10 per cent.
“There is more to do, however, and we are making further timetable changes to improve performance, starting next month – with a commitment to only use skip-stopping as a last-resort and under extreme circumstances."
Mr Edwards' commitment comes as the National Rail Passenger Survey published today (Tuesday, January 28) reveals an 11 per cent drop in overall passenger satisfaction across WMT services on LNWR and West Midlands Railway.
The summer price cut will make the cheapest return from Northampton to London Euston £24.30 instead of £27.00 during the summer holidays.
WMT's overall satisfaction rating was 73 per cent with only Northern Trains worse off among the UK's 24 train operators. LNWR's London commuter services which includes trains from Euston to Northampton was voted good by 71 per cent and just 37 per cent thought the company delivered value for money..
The survey was carried out last autumn in the aftermath of a new timetable in May 2019 which resulted in an increased number of delays and cancellations.
LNWR bosses later admitted the new timetable was too complex and they did not have enough staff or rolling stock to run it.
Some tweaks were made in December and more are promised next month. But the company, whose franchise is due to run until 2026, as pinning their hopes on a major rewrite in May and recruiting 86 extra drivers and senior conductors to combat the shortage of train crew.
Derby-based train builders Bombardier are also working on £700million-worth of new trains which are due to start running next year.