5th Jul, 2022

'The bell is tolling' PM warns train operator

John Carlon 8th Jan, 2020

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has threatened beleaguered trains operator West Midlands Rail its franchise could soon hit the buffers.

Responding to a question from Harriet Baldwin, Conservative MP for West Worcestershire, the PM warned ‘the bell is tolling’ for the company.

It recently pledged to freeze the price of season tickets for 2020 to compensate passengers for delays and overcrowding in 2019.

Passengers have received £2.5 million in ticket refunds for delays since May 2019.

At Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, Ms Baldwin asked: “The experience of West Midlands Rail for my constituents and those across the Midlands has been absolutely woeful.

“Will the Prime Minister agree with Andy Street, the West Midlands Mayor, that if they do not shape up by the end of the January then they too should have an inspection by the secretary of state for transport, and if necessary have their franchise taken away from them?

The PM had discussed revoking the franchise of Northern Rail earlier in the session, and told Ms Baldwin: “The honourable lady will have heard what I have had to say about the performance for various franchise holders across our rail network, and I can say we are looking at the whole issue.

“The bell is tolling for West Midlands rail if I hear my honourable friend correctly.”

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