A Kenilworth commuter has expressed serious concerns about the town’s “chaotic descent” through its “erratic and unstable train service”.
In April, the operator West Midlands Railway (WMR) resumed services at Kenilworth, which currently run once every two hours to Leamington and Coventry stations.
These are supplemented by rail replacement buses.
Elaine Corry, who relies on the station services to get to work and her sons to school in Leamington, said: “The user of the service, the passenger, the taxpayer, the residents of Kenilworth and the surrounding area owe the answers to the chaotic descent of Kenilworth station thanks to its erratic and unstable rail service.
“Why has no funds or support, whether financial, moral or general, been offered to allow the independently operated resort reservation desk to remain open and functional?
“Return journeys have often left passengers stranded – myself included on numerous occasions. Ticket refunds are a slow and painful process; many are too tired and frustrated to apply.
“This scenario is still relevant since the hypothetical” trains running every two hours “.
“My most recent experience was the 5:01 pm train from Leamington to Nuneaton which was advertised as canceled at 5:15 pm with a bus finally running at 5:35 pm.
“I got back to Kenilworth after 6 pm.
“Other passengers missed connections and were so angry, and some had been working all day, having left their homes at 6 am, which is a regular occurrence for them. I travel every day and speak with other passengers.
” What is the solution ? File a complaint ? Search online? Send an email ?
“The complaints process is as long and slow as train delays.
“Immediate refunds and compensation are required for the user of the service.
“Last month my salary was deducted because I was two hours late for work due to another train cancellation.
“The general public is tired of being treated disrespectfully, with no apologies or reimbursements.
“We have the right to disclose information relating to paid funds that have been collected from the public through tax.”
WMR said: “We are fully committed to increasing the frequency of rail services to Kenilworth as soon as possible.
“The root cause of all performance issues on the line is the shortage of train crews, which we started to address by recruiting additional staff before the pandemic hit.
“Unfortunately, Covid-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our service with one in three colleagues missing work and 25,000 days of driver training lost.
“This means it takes a lot longer to train the drivers we need to run a full service at Kenilworth.
“We have taken steps to secure our training programs against Covid and want to reassure our passengers that we will restore full service when we can. “