London Midland staff shortages cancel trains

Cancelled train sign
Image caption Trains were cancelled on several routes from Birmingham

More than 30 London Midland train services, including routes to London, Birmingham and Liverpool, have been cancelled because of staff shortages.

London Midland apologised and said the cancellations were "predominantly due to recent high turnover of staff".

It advised passengers to check online over cancellations, which affected 12 evening services.

Commercial director Richard Brooks said it had recruited "a substantial number of new people who are in training".

The RMT trade union said it had warned the company about ongoing staff shortages in areas including drivers and guards "for some time", but said it had "fallen on deaf ears".

'Not good enough'

Services to Rugeley and Redditch were also affected.

Phil Davis, from Travelwatch West Midlands, said it seemed to be part of an ongoing problem.

He urged London Midland to "get their act together", particularly with ticket prices going up.

"I was caught myself yesterday with a cancellation on the route to Redditch and the knock-on is that the next train is chock-a-block. It's not good enough really," he said.

Earlier, London Midland warned of delays of up to 25 minutes on some other services, while a number of passengers complained about overcrowding on other routes, including Birmingham to Shrewsbury.

One passenger, Tom Hammersley, used Twitter to describe a service in "meltdown" at Five Ways station outside Birmingham.

Another Birmingham traveller complained of cancellations on one cross city service, only to find an 11-minute delay on the next train.

London Midland said a number of drivers in training were due to qualify soon and that it had recently advertised for more.

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