Minister backs MP in battle for better train services

UK TRANSPORT Secretary Grant Shapps is again calling rail operator TransPennine Express to account for poor service at Lockerbie Station -- following a meeting with local MP David Mundell. 

TransPennine executives have already been 'hauled' before Mr Shapps after 'appalling' service in December for which the company has publicly apologised. 

At the latest meeting, Mr Shapps stated he would demand that TransPennine deliver on their commitments to improve the service and deliver on the published timetable without regular delays and cancellations.

Mr Mundell said: “I’ve gone directly to the UK Transport Secretary again after another dip in TransPennine performance. Lockerbie Station users don’t want to hear constant excuses about new trains, driver training or bad weather -- they want to see promised services delivered. 

"I welcome the fact that TransPennine has apologised to local travellers for the recent levels of service, but what is more important is that they now deliver on commitments to improve and provide the service people expect. 

"These recent service failures are a particular disappointment for me given all the work that has gone into increasing interest in services from Lockerbie and the large rise achieved in passengers using the station. 

"They deserve reliable services and I am determined they will receive them.”

Mr Shapps said: “I'm extremely disappointed that TransPennine are not delivering the services Lockerbie Station users expect. 

"I have made it clear to the company that they must deliver the timetable they promised. 

"It is no good saying that things will get better in the future. They need to improve now.  I will be keeping a close personal eye on the situation to ensure TransPennine meet their obligations to Lockerbie passengers."

Mr Mundell also welcomed the reconvening of the Lockerbie Station Users Group and urged station users to attend a meeting scheduled for Thursday evening, March 5, in Lockerbie Town Hall.