Today (3rd February), the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, has asked the Government to impose a fine on West Midlands Trains and placed the rail firm under continued threat of franchise removal.

In welcoming this move, Rachel said: “West Midlands Trains (WMT) serves Redditch and is used by my constituents, and me, and they are not providing the service we have a right to expect.

“Since Mayor Street first issued his ultimatum to strip WMT of their franchise in December, they have made improvements in their performance. Cancellations have decreased from 1,351 in December to 203 in January. The number of trains turning up on time or within five minutes has also increased from an average of 78% to more than 88%. In these circumstances I agree with the Mayor that it would be premature to seek the removal of their franchise given we’re seeing WMT’s performance moving in the right direction.

“And, although Mayor Street hasn’t gone as far as requesting the removal of the rail firm’s franchise, he is keeping them under strict review with the continued threat of their franchise being removed. This isn’t West Midlands Trains being let off, this is a practical approach in demanding better for rail users.

“As the Mayor has said in his letter to the Transport Secretary, if at any point he loses confidence in West Midlands Trains’ performance he will immediately seek the removal of their franchise. This threat will continue to hold rail bosses’ feet to the fire.”