The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, says his office has been inundated with messages online in regard to concerns about public safety that he and the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Ian Ward share, about the chaotic train services provided by West Midlands Trains. Within the first two hours of the announcement, over 150 members of the public had responded. That figure has risen to just over 500 responses within 24-hours.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said:

“Within the first couple of hours of our request going ‘live’ my office had received nearly 150 responses from members of the public who use our trains. That figure has now risen to just over 500. Nearly all the communications in the past twenty-four hours share mine and Ian’s concerns and frustration in regard to public safety, failing timetables, dangerous overcrowded trains and platforms where commuters are often stranded by trains which turn up late or don’t arrive at all.”

The PCC is further concerned about the impact the poor rail services have had on Police Officers and staff in their bid to combine work and family life. Problems he, as a regular train user, has experienced for himself.

Some of the comments from frustrated rail users sent to the PCC from the public include:

“The trains being delayed have caused me to be late for work most days. It has gotten that bag I have had to work from different office where a cross country train runs to there. The delays have caused me to learn to drive and when I pass I will be commuting to work.

Other rail users have said:

“When people just pile on, it’s overcrowded and unsafe – I worry that I won’t be able to get out at my platform, or that in an emergency, I will be in danger due to overcrowding around the emergency exits.”

“The overcrowding of trains is a scary issue. Many times I have had an anxiety attack on the train and had to get off”

“Pregnant, I ended up fainting.”

“Cost have been involved around me getting taxis instead because of the delays, pay being deducted due to trains getting me to work late and also on a final warning for work”

The PCC added:

“I have made it clear all along that I would call a public hearing if things did not improve. These comments from the public clearly demonstrate that things have not.  I appreciate that West Midlands Trains have appointed a new Managing Director to take control of this chaotic situation. In the interest of safety and the wellbeing of the travelling public I wish him well. However, this is not a quick fix and following overwhelming concerns from rail users I intend continuing with my request for evidence and I will be setting a date for a public hearing in the very near future.”

To take part in the call for evidence the website link is: https://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/trains/

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