London Midland praised by Government's transport minister during visit

Watford Observer: London Midland praised by Government's transport minister during visit London Midland praised by Government's transport minister during visit

The Government’s transport minister praised London Midland on a "huge improvement" during a visit to Watford.

Secretary of state Patrick Mcloughlin said the struggling rail company, which runs trains from Watford Junction, Bushey, and Kings Langley, was getting up to scratch.

He said: "London Midland had some problems. Obviously there were complaints and travelling problems.

"They have made a huge improvement.

"We told them to get up to scratch and that they were on probation and they have made an effort to improve."

Mr Mcloughlin was invited to Watford by MP Richard Harrington yesterday to see Watford Junction and discuss problems with the service.

Investment of more than £80million is already set to take place to reduce the most common causes of delays on overground trains.

Plans include a complete re-signalling between Kings Langley and Bushey, replacement of 12 miles of track and new overhead power lines in Watford - including at Orphanage Road Bridge - allowing for future speeds of up to 125mph.

Mr Harrington said the infrastructure should help out London Midland.

London Midland has been criticised since it finished the £1.3 million redesign of the station last year.

The revamp saw the station’s drop-off bays being removed from the Station Road entrance and a new short stay car park created off Woodford Road.

However, the new arrangement has seen drivers dumping passengers off in front of the station in moving traffic rather than using the new car park.

The redesign also saw the taxi rank removed from the front of the station so it could be pedestrianised and repositioned along the access road to the station’s car park.

The beleaguered company announced last month it is due to axe about 150 jobs to cope with rising costs.

Mr Harrington lobbied for investment into the Abbey Line during the visit, stating that there should be increased frequency of service for north Watford residents - and that this should be a key part of any negotiation for the franchise in the future.

He added the new Croxley Rail Link, to be built at Ascot Road, will help ease London Midland services.

He said: "This is an incredibly important scheme for Watford as a whole in terms of our local economy and improved transport links.

"Whilst this will of course hugely benefit residents in central and West Watford, residents of areas such as Oxhey, Tudor and Garston will also benefit as the Metropolitan Line will in future link with Watford Junction and Watford High Street where people can change from overground services - making London much more accessible for those residents too and giving them an alternative to London Midland services when they need it."

Comments (2)

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10:31pm Thu 1 May 14

samwatford says...

Earlier it was difficult to get a seat in the morning from Watford to London , now with the new timetable coming in it is difficult to get a seat in the evening to go home as well. The train conductors and drivers keep on announcing First Class is reserved for first class tickets even when there is no standing space in rest of the train and first class coaches are empty. While Southern Trains has no first class in London Metropolitan Area , London Midland runs empty first class coaches on most of its trains.

London Midland has started its high speed services which do not stop at Watford, first stop being Bletchley or Leighton Buzzard so only few London Midland trains stop at watford in the evening.

Watford residents are also not allowed to use Virgin trains going to London either even when the oyster card ticket has no restrictions in terms of use.
Due to single entrance at Watford station , there are long queues to get in and get out a well.Further crossing from National Rail to Underground is a nightmare at Euston Station due to long queue for touch in touch out at the dual Oyster Card Gates and the crowded passage in between and all the new promotions, tourists and charity collectors blocking the passages. To praise train company providing cattle class service ,only looking after its shareholders and not the watford public is wrong.
Earlier it was difficult to get a seat in the morning from Watford to London , now with the new timetable coming in it is difficult to get a seat in the evening to go home as well. The train conductors and drivers keep on announcing First Class is reserved for first class tickets even when there is no standing space in rest of the train and first class coaches are empty. While Southern Trains has no first class in London Metropolitan Area , London Midland runs empty first class coaches on most of its trains. London Midland has started its high speed services which do not stop at Watford, first stop being Bletchley or Leighton Buzzard so only few London Midland trains stop at watford in the evening. Watford residents are also not allowed to use Virgin trains going to London either even when the oyster card ticket has no restrictions in terms of use. Due to single entrance at Watford station , there are long queues to get in and get out a well.Further crossing from National Rail to Underground is a nightmare at Euston Station due to long queue for touch in touch out at the dual Oyster Card Gates and the crowded passage in between and all the new promotions, tourists and charity collectors blocking the passages. To praise train company providing cattle class service ,only looking after its shareholders and not the watford public is wrong. samwatford
  • Score: 14

10:52pm Thu 1 May 14

samwatford says...

Earlier it was difficult to get a seat on London Midland trains in the morning to London. Now with the new timetable with London Midland High Speed trains with first stop being at Bletchley or Leighton Buzzard, it is difficult to get a seat in the evening as well as only few London Midland trains stop at Watford. While the Oyster card ticket has no restrictions on use , Watford passengers are not allowed to use Virgin train Services to London which are empty on way to London.

Also London Midland runs empty first class coaches to London while there is no standing space in rest of the train unlike Southern trains which does not have first class in London area.

Due to single entrance at Watford station , there are long queues to get in and get out at Oyster Gates, which many times do not work . In addition is a nightmare to change from London Midland to Underground at Euston station due to long queues at the double Oyster gates manned by London Midland and London Underground and the passages being blocked by charity collectors, new promotions, broken escalators and non english speaking tourists. To praise this expensive and cattle class train service and its share holders is absolutely wrong.
Earlier it was difficult to get a seat on London Midland trains in the morning to London. Now with the new timetable with London Midland High Speed trains with first stop being at Bletchley or Leighton Buzzard, it is difficult to get a seat in the evening as well as only few London Midland trains stop at Watford. While the Oyster card ticket has no restrictions on use , Watford passengers are not allowed to use Virgin train Services to London which are empty on way to London. Also London Midland runs empty first class coaches to London while there is no standing space in rest of the train unlike Southern trains which does not have first class in London area. Due to single entrance at Watford station , there are long queues to get in and get out at Oyster Gates, which many times do not work . In addition is a nightmare to change from London Midland to Underground at Euston station due to long queues at the double Oyster gates manned by London Midland and London Underground and the passages being blocked by charity collectors, new promotions, broken escalators and non english speaking tourists. To praise this expensive and cattle class train service and its share holders is absolutely wrong. samwatford
  • Score: 1

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