The rail campaign group have also said that Cross Country staff should be present to help passengers on main stations that are served by Cross Country train services. The current franchise employs no staff to be present on any rail station across the UK network.
“With many people using Cross Country services to travel significant distances they should be supported and helped by the train operator they are paying. This means Cross Country staff being on hand, certainly at the larger railway stations, to handle enquiries and to provide assistance”
The group have submitted their views to the Department for Transport Consultation on the new Cross Country Rail Franchise and are encouraging as many people that use Cross Country rail services in the Midlands to do the same.
“People who use Cross Country services, particularly overcrowded Cross Country services, have a real opportunity here to make their voice heard and we are encouraging as many people as possible to do so before the closing date of 30 August and ensure the DfT are left in no doubt that Cross Country users need new, longer trains with more seats, trusted value for money fares and better information and help at stations”. Ian Jenkins added.
Longer trains providing seats for all, trusted fares that guarantee value for money and better information and staffing at stations are the three main things that require to be resolved says a leading Midlands based rail campaign group.
West Midlands based Campaign for Rail has made the comments in response to a consultation that ends on 30 August and is being ran by the Department for Transport (DfT). The consultation is asking groups and members of the public what they want to see in the new franchise for Cross Country train services.
The current Cross Country franchise, which is due to end in 2019 and is operated by Arriva, has Birmingham at its heart of operations with services linking South Wales, the East Midlands, the South West, north west & north east of England as well as Scotland.
Ian Jenkins, the Chairman of Campaign for Rail – West Midlands said:
“Cross Country train services are very popular with many services regularly overcrowded. It’s crucial that the new Cross Country franchise includes new trains that have more carriages and seats for passengers.”
Concern over the limited availability of cheaper advance rail fares is also a major problem the group claims.
The following is a press release issued by Campaign for Rail on 14 August 2018 at 14:00.
“Passengers are entitled to easily obtain the best value rail fare but current Cross Country fares severely limit this ability with the consequence of passengers frequently paying too much or being put off travelling by rail altogether. This is not acceptable and must be changed with the new Cross Country franchise whoever it is awarded to.”
CrossCountry Train Services Must Improve
14 August 2018