TROUBLED rail operator Transpennine Express is to have its franchise ended, bringing hopes that the service can be stabilised for rail passengers using Lockerbie Station.
The decision, announced today by the Department for Transport, follows months of disruption and cancellations across Transpennine Express’s network, and a collapse in confidence amongst passengers.
Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell has been a long-term critic of the standard of service delivered by Transpennine Express and previously called for action to be taken over the rail operating company. Most recently, he raised the issue in the House of Commons at Prime Ministers Questions.
David Mundell said: “It had been clear for a long time that Transpennine Express simply wasn’t up to the job of providing the modern, reliable rail service that local people need and can depend on.
“Repeated promises were made that things would improve but they never did. Instead, passengers were left frustrated by delays, overcrowded carriages and last-minute cancellations.
“In fact, after a full year of those promised improvement, statistics from the Office of Rail and Road showed almost a quarter of Transpennine Express trains were cancelled in the four weeks between February and March. When that’s the service the travelling people have to contend with then it’s clear the company’s ability to operate in any proper manner has hit the buffers.
“Ending the Transpennine Express contract is entirely the right decision and one which I believe will be very much welcomed by my constituents.
“With this change, there will now be the opportunity to deliver that modern, reliable rail service for station users at Lockerbie which is so urgently needed and I look forward to working to make sure that’s the case.”