London Midland celebrates fall in passenger complaints... as Hemel Hempstead commuters face travel chaos May Bank Holiday

Train journeys to the capital will be affected this weekend
Train journeys to the capital will be affected this weekend

London Midland is celebrating a dramatic drop in customer complaints, though its confusing changes to rail replacement services on the line into Euston could perhaps have an adverse effect when results are collated in future months.

The latest data released by the Office for Rail Regulation shows that complaints from London Midland passengers fell by a shocking 73.3 per cent when compared to the same period last year.

The results for the final three months in the 2013-14 year are compared against those recorded in 2012-13, and show a reduction from 148.9 complaints per 100,000 passenger journeys back then to just 39.7 more recently.

The results reflect the biggest fall in complaints out of all 19 UK-based train operating companies.

The operator’s commercial director Richard Brooks said: “We have worked extremely hard to improve performance and reliability, as we know these are the two factors that drive customer satisfaction.

“The results demonstrate that we have turned a corner following the difficulties we faced in 2012, and I’m delighted that our customers are feeling that”. But the operator has recently announced late changes to its alternative travel plans for the May Day bank holiday weekend, meaning those travelling into London will be taken to a north London Jubilee Line tube station by coach.

Passengers who need to travel to the capital between May 3 and 5 were initially told that a rail replacement coach service between Hemel Hempstead and Edgware station – on the Northern line along with National Rail station London Euston – would be offered.

The inconvenience is due to essential maintenance works by Network Rail on the busy London Midland line into Euston, passing through Tring, Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempstead, Apsley and Kings Langley.

But in another blow for those who need to travel between May 3 and 5, two thirds of Hemel Hempstead railway station’s car park will be cordoned off to house the rail replacement coaches.

Parking at the Hemel Hempstead car park’s will therefore be limited, especially as buses to Leavesden’s Warners Bros Studio Tour will be departing from there, too.

London Midland’s Becky Glover said: “We’d like to thank our passengers in advance for their patience while Network Rail carries out these improvement works.”

The operator advises passengers to avoid travel if possible and check for updates.