London Midland signs new agreement with Transport for West Midlands
London Midland has signed an agreement with Transport for West Midlands to expand and improve its services in the region.
Under the agreement, London Midland and Transport for West Midlands promise to develop initiatives for London Midland to deliver the delay minute performance targets and the service level commitments agreed when its franchise was extended last year.
The two organisations will also work together to understand the business case for increasing rolling stock.
Patrick Verwer, London Midland managing director, said: “We have a strong history of working in partnership in the West Midlands. The improvements we are planning to introduce over the next 15 months are based on what local people have said are important to them.
“These are exciting times for the region. London Midland has supported the idea of devolution as it helps us get closer and respond more quickly to the needs of local rail users.”
London Midland is currently competing against West Midlands Trains, owned by Abellio with East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co Ltd as minority partners, for the rights to operate the West Midlands franchise after its current contract expires in October 2017.
West Midlands Rail and the DfT recently launched a consultation into the possibility of increased rail devolution in the region.
Other issues raised in the agreement include a need to develop a resilience action plan for disruptions at Birmingham Snow Hill and integration of Birmingham’s new Metro at Birmingham New Street.
Cllr Roger Lawrence, transport lead for the West Midlands Combined Authority, said: “Demand for rail services is as high as it has ever been so it is crucial we work together to develop and extract the maximum benefits from the network for the passenger.
“I am confident this joint agreement will be good news for passengers as it cements the good work that has already been done and sets out the foundations of further improvements.”
(Image c. London Midland. From left to right: Cllr Richard Worrall, Patrick Verwer, Laura Shoaf, Cllr Roger Lawrence and Richard Brooks)
Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.