By Ian Dipple Friday 25 January 2013 Updated: 25/01 09:00
SIGNALLING faults, ice and snow have led to a week of misery for train users.
Scores of services have been cancelled, delays of up to 40 minutes have been reported at times and in some cases trains have been starting from Barnt Green, abandoning travellers hoping to catch a train from Redditch and Alvechurch.
Frustrated commuters took to social networking site Twitter to vent their frustration.
Many said the level of disruption was similar to pre-Christmas levels when almost a thousand trains were delayed or cancelled between October and December 9 because of a driver shortage.
One passenger likened using the Cross City Line to a game of ‘roulette’ while others complained about overcrowding.
Problems started on Monday afternoon due to a train fault on the Cross City Line which was then made worse by a signalling fault in the University station area which caused trains to run at reduced speeds and services to be cancelled or revised at short notice.
As a result, passengers travelling on the 6.47pm service from Four Oaks to Redditch were left stranded at Barnt Green when the train terminated early.
Several trains between Longbridge and Birmingham New Street were also cancelled. Further signalling issues hit services again on Wednesday morning, London Midland said although they had replaced two defective trains in the afternoon, the problem had affected services.
A line fault and a signalling problem at Birmingham New Street resulted in services being suspended early yesterday (Thursday) morning. Once that was resolved there were further signalling issues at University station which resulted in scores of services being cancelled and the use of replacement buses at times.
A spokesman for London Midland said as some of the problems were caused by infrastructure issues, they were the responsibility of Network Rail and therefore out of their control, while ice and snow had also caused problems.
He added tickets had been accepted on National Express bus services, which will have been of little comfort to Redditch train users as the company does not operate in the borough.
The Standard reported last week how Redditch Borough Council had agreed to write to London Midland to complain about ongoing problems with the reliability of the service, following on from the issues experienced at the end of last year.
Redditch MP Karen Lumley told the Standard she remained unconvinced promises made to her about improvements to the service were being kept and would be speaking to the company again as well as the transport minister to see what further action could be taken.
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