London Midland has admitted that the Cross City line timetable is “a work of fiction” and will be scrapped with effect from Monday, 3 November.
Mark Goodall, Head of Cross City Services said:
‘Passengers using the route that runs from the Walled City of Lichfield in the north, through The Badlands and on to Redditch, will not notice any difference in the quality of the service. We guarantee the quality of service will remain poor.
‘But because we’re abandoning timetabled arrival/departure times there will be far less disappointment and frustration. I think that passengers would much prefer a train that turns up at all rather than get themselves all angry because a train’s half an hour late.’
If successful this ‘no timetable’ service will be rolled out across the network. Mr Goodall continued:
‘A large part of London Midland’s budget is absorbed by timetabling, inaccurate station announcements, complaints handling, twitter feed apologies and iPhone apps. These costs could be virtually eliminated if the timetable is scrapped.’
Sidney Sprite, 86, is a daily commuter and member of BSARA, a Lichfield group of irritating self-appointed “Shadow Councillors in Exile”. Mr Sprite said:
‘Whilst in keeping with BSARA policy I object to absolutely everything, on this occasion however I may give London Midland the benefit of the doubt. If I don’t have to spend three hours a week writing letters of complaint to LM, sending pompous tweets and claiming refunds for delayed trains then overall I could dedicate much more time to patrolling Beacon Street and way beyond looking for outrage.’
Brittany Singleton, a 22 year-old mother of 5 from Burntwood is also pleased with the new arrangements:
‘It’s a bit like when your fella says “I’ll be home by 9” and then he isn’t, well I just want to stab the bastard when he comes through the door. But if he’s honest and says he don’t know when or if he’ll be home then that’s fine, I’ll open a bottle of White Lightening and go bed. ‘Same with the trains really, not that I travel by train, or go to work for that matter.’
Mark Goodall of London Midland explained:
‘We’re doing everything we can to mitigate the misery of rail travel. We’ll review the position again in the summer but what with the effect of the coefficient of expansion miscalculations and crew winging a sicky on sunny Friday afternoons, I’m not holding my breath.’
The key advice for passengers is ‘Work From Home’.