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24 October 2012, 12:56
More than thirty London Midland trains in and out of Birmingham have been cancelled because of a shortage of drivers.
Trains have been cancelled on the Birmingham-Coventry-Northampton, Lichfield-Birmingham-Redditch and Wolverhampton-Birmingham-Walsall/Rugeley routes.
On Saturday afternoon and evening up to thirty services on the same routes were subject to delays or cancellations.
London Midland has apologised to commuters for the cancellations. Passengers have been advised that daily cancellation updates will be posted on the website at 5pm the day before services are due to be affected.
The General Secretary of the train drivers' union ASLEF, Mick Whelan, told Heart "We entered into an agreement with the company to recruit a number of drivers required to run the services. That training took place. Unfortunately, a number of drivers chose the option then to transfer to other companies who probably offer more attractive salaries or conditions."
In a statement, Commercial Director at London Midland, Richard Brooks said:
"Although we are continuing to recruit and train drivers, we will experience shortages in the meantime. To minimise potential disruptions to our regular services, we will be giving passengers more advance notice, of up to 48 hours, of any changes. We believe this will provide passengers with more certainty, will enable better journey planning and improve the travel experience. We apologise for any conveniences that may remain."