Fury as train firm cancels services - The Evesham Observer

Fury as train firm cancels services

Evesham Editorial 8th Mar, 2018   0

AN UNDER-FIRE county train operator has been branded ‘a company which never fails to let its customers down’ by Worcestershire’s highways chief.

Great Western Railway chiefs have been criticised for their handling of the big freeze which saw services continue to be cancelled on Sunday despite a thaw setting in over the weekend.

Coun Alan Amos has written to GWR managing director Mark Hopwood after he was forced to miss an engagement in Oxford on Sunday, despite checking on Saturday evening the planned service was still running.

The outspoken councillor told the Observer: “I checked the internet to confirm that the 11.31am Worcester Shrub Hill to Oxford service was running but, to my amazement, when I double-checked on Sunday morning, I saw all services to Oxford had been cancelled.

“The only alternative appeared to be a three hour journey involving two changes and a bus.

“Given the thaw had already significantly set in by Sunday morning and that the forecast was of further improvement – which occurred – I want to know who decided to cancel all these services which are only every two hours anyway and why they did not inform people on Saturday night so they could have tried to make alternative arrangements in time?

“My highways department worked very hard to keep all our roads open so it is a great pity they chose not to do the same for our trains.

“It appears GWR has become ‘a company which never fails to let you down’. Until they show they can manage the existing network competently, passengers have no confidence anything is ever going to get better with annual price increases bringing about absolutely no improvement,” he added.

Coun Amos also revealed he was in posession of regular reports about the service from Worcester to Paddington which painted a ‘truly dreadful picture of cancellations, short-running, and all manner of other issues’.

“I am advised the principal reason is “driver shortage” or lack of properly trained drivers. This is solely and clearly the responsibility of management, nobody else,” he added.

GWR failed to respond to the Observer’s request for a comment.

However a statement on their website about the disruption caused by the big freeze said: “Reducing the number of trains on the network in a planned way allows the services that do run to operate more smoothly, reducing congestion and delays during difficult conditions.

* What do you think? Write to the editor to the address on page ten or e-mail [email protected] with your views

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.


Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Evesham Observer.