Date: 20th December 2010 at 5:13pm
Written by:





Does anyone else experience this sort of amazingly bad service whilst travelling on the trains to and from Villa Park on match days?

Vital user: badge73 wrote to London Midlands trains:

To whom it may concern,

I’m a regular train user, as have a season ticket for Aston Villa football club and use the train service both to and away from the ground but do have concerns.

At the moment your company is only providing trains with 3 coaches which is quite poor considering the amount of passengers who use it. Yesterday was the most frustrating time as i arrived at Redditch train station at 11.20 am ready for the 11.27 train to Aston. The ticket office was packed and a long queue for the ticketing machine. As i am disabled this is almost impossible for myself, so boarded the train and pay the conductor along with a few others.

Due to your company only providing 3 coaches the train quickly filled up. I did speak to the conductor and offered to pay for my fare but he said he would get back to me when he had chance. Due to the over crowding the train arrived late at Aston, i explained to the guard about what had happened and was told to buy a ticket at the office booth, as there was a few of us the due to the overcrowding we missed the start of the match and greatly disappointed in the service of your company.

Even after the games, your company only provides 3 coaches to which point can be kept waiting for over an hour which is really terrible service. In this age of promoting public transport is this the best a company can do? or shall we say sod the train and use our cars? At this point in time im honestly thinking of not attending mid week games due to your companies bad service.

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Reply:

Thank you for contacting us following your journey with us between Redditch and Aston on 28 November 2010.

I am sorry that your service was so full. I appreciate this can detract from your journey and I would like to apologise for the discomfort and inconvenience that was caused.

I can confirm that additional services were put on from Birmingham New Street to Witton (the closest station to Villa Park) before and after the match. However, as the services operate every 15/20 minutes on the cross city line and this line is shared with other Train Operating Companies it
would not have been possible to arrange additional services.

We do monitor our services very closely and carry out detailed research into the numbers of passengers using our trains. We then match these numbers as closely as we can to the stock we have available.

We would certainly like to be able to put on extra carriages but we only have a limited number within our fleet, and at the moment we are using all the carriages we have. Also, some routes can only accommodate certain types of train. We also monitor those occasions when we provide fewer carriages for a journey. This can be for any number of reasons, but we do get a financial penalty when we do not provide the planned number of seats. This is therefore a strong incentive for us and we do want to provide a good service for our customers and make sure we have the right number of seats every time.

We do know that most of our customers expect a seat but unfortunately, this is not always possible. Trains are therefore designed to be safe for people to remain standing up. We trust our staff on-board to judge how many people should be allowed to stand – taking into account access to door controls, emergency points, temperature and the journey distance.

I do thank you for taking the time to write to us and hope that your future journeys will be much more comfortable. We value your comments, and we welcome the opportunity this gives us to understand what our customers are looking for from our service.

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