London Midland rail company is facing severe criticism after it had to cancel all but one of its Sunday services because “no-one had turned up to work”, according to the Telegraph.
Travellers had to either pay higher fares with other operators or cancel their journeys due to what the firm described as ‘staff shortages’.
The Mirror described the service as “paralysed by staff shortages” a week after the firm stopped paying double-time for staff who work on Sunday.
The Birmingham to Liverpool line was the only one open yesterday (6 September), as it emerged that the drivers who work Sundays usually do so on a voluntary basis.
London Midland operates more than 1,200 services a day to 149 stations across the Midlands serving London, Birmingham and Liverpool.
Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said the situation was “unacceptable” and called on transport secretary Lord Adonis to withdraw London Midland’s contract.
He told the BBC: “After all the disruption, sacrifice and noise residents were forced to endure caused by the four-tracking of the main line by Lichfield, the present debacle cannot be allowed to drift on any longer.
The company said it had no choice but to cancel services. “For the majority of London Midland on-train staff, working on Sundays has always been voluntary,” it said.
“This weekend, so few have volunteered to work, that we have had no choice but to cancel services.” The company added that services were back to normal today.