Concern has been raised that a railway company has reduced its train service which comes through the Moorlands. A train user, who lives in Blythe Bridge, contacted the Times & Echo about his concerns regarding the changes which have been made by East Midlands Railway (EMR) at the weekend.
Concern has been raised that a railway company has reduced its train service which comes through the Moorlands.
A train user, who lives in Blythe Bridge, contacted the Times & Echo about his concerns regarding the changes which have been made by East Midlands Railway (EMR) at the weekend.
The residents, who wished not to be named, said: “EMR announced yesterday (Thursday, June 17) via Twitter that they are slashing the trains on their regional routes. Locally this means the trains calling at Blythe are reduced to the first Covid timetable level.
“The first train of the day to Stoke / Crewe is taken off of the timetable, 7.20am. Then, for much of the day the trains are going to be every two hours, not every hour.
“When this was done in the first Covid restriction time it was understandable given the low level user levels. I know my employer was understanding that instead of my getting in to work early I’d be 20 minutes late.
“Some people were not so lucky then and I doubt employers will be understanding this time around.
“Now the trains on this are busy again and slashing the service will mean overcrowding, although not to the level that it was when it was a single 153 unit.
“If you’ve been using the trains you’ll know that the timetable changes made in May were followed by a significant increase in reliability issues. Instead of their shuttling between Derby and Crewe and being staffed from Derby they are now from Nottingham or Newark Castle. Most of the cancellations are due to staff shortages from Nottingham / Newark.
“The Derby staff are now working other routes. Changes need to be made but a reversion to the timetable before the May changes, a timetable that worked, would do that.
“I have alerted the DfT that EMR are in breach of their franchise agreement. I’ve not got to detail about level of service required on routes but one snippet is that timetable changes must have four weeks notice, not two days.”
The resident added: “I used to commute on the line for over a decade, recently retired. My much anticipated recreational use of the rail network is going to be severely affected. When the same cuts were made at the start of the Covid restrictions it was understandable.
“User levels are not that low now and the system was working before the May timetable introduction. EMR have made a massive mess of things and instead of reverting to what was working they have made drastic service cuts.”
The Times & Echo contacted East Midlands Railway about the residents’ concerns. In response a spokesperson said: “Last month we introduced a new timetable. In recent weeks it has become clear it is not performing as well as we, or our customers, expect. This has led to short notice cancellations and difficult journeys.
“We are very sorry for the disruption and inconvenience caused to our customers during this time.
“We are acting swiftly to implement changes which will improve performance and provide a reliable experience across our network.
“As a result, from Saturday (June 19), we will be temporarily reducing our regional timetable. This change will allow us to protect our most used services, such as summer services to Skegness and allow us to fix the underlying problems so we can reintroduce the full timetable.
“Amended timetables are now available online and we ask customers to check their journey on our website before setting off.”
The EMR spokesman added: “The reduced timetable only affects EMR Regional. EMR Intercity and EMR Connect services to/from London are not affected.”
Train users can see more information about the changes at www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/amended-timetable.
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