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MP demands apology from train operator

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By Fiona Reid
MP demands apology from train operator

‘UNACCEPTABLE’ delays and disruptions to rail services at Lockerbie have been flagged up to the UK Transport Secretary.

Following dozens of complaints from travellers, Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell yesterday called on Grant Shapps to “haul TransPennine over the coals” and to call them in to account for “appalling and unacceptable levels of service” at Lockerbie Station in recent weeks, culminating in numerous cancellations when the new timetable was launched this week.

Newly elected Mr Mundell said: “TransPennine have failed to provide the service they are required to for local rail users and treated Lockerbie Station passengers to a lamentable service in recent weeks. Many local people have been left stranded at Lockerbie unable to get to their destinations or in Glasgow and Edinburgh unable to get home. And whilst some glitches might have been expected when the new timetable was introduced this week, wholesale cancellations cannot be justified.

“I have highlighted these service failings and TransPennine’s poor customer service response to Mr Shapps, the Transport Secretary, and asked to call in TransPennine, read them the riot act and demand they explain themselves for recent service failures and demonstrate to him how they are going to guarantee the timetabled services run as required in the future.”

He has also demanded an apology from TransPennine and added: “But it’s not enough: what passengers want is the certainty that services in the timetable will run and that they will be able to get to their destination and back.”

Responding, a spokesman for TransPennine Express said: “We are really sorry for the disruption to our customers journeys in Lockerbie. Due to a temporary accelerated training programme that we are running for our drivers and conductors, we have had to cancel some services as we continue to roll out our new fleets of trains over the coming weeks.

“We are working really hard to sort this for our customers and as we introduce more new trains we should see an improvement to people’s journeys. Any customers affected are of course entitled to a refund and can apply for this on our website.”