November 30th - When you have to be home for something important., that’s when fate trips you up. I was dashing home. I left work at 3:50pm, and the trains I would have caught from Tyseley or Acocks Green were all cancelled due to London Midland’s ongoing staff crisis. Catching a train at Spring Road, I managed to get to New Street in time to catch the Walsall train. When that turned up ten minutes late, it was only two carriages. With other service cancellations, there was no way I’d get on, and the crush I witnessed on the platform was nasty and dangerous. I opted to try for a Lichfield bound service, but they were all similarly stricken or curtailed. After 30 minutes of faff at New Street, I got a train to Four Oaks, and cycled home from there. After a freezing, tired ride, I arrived home at 6:40pm - nearly three hours after I left work.
The local train service operated by London Midland is crippled by bad man-management and operational difficulties. I could have cycled the distance in a third of the time, and wished I had. I’m seriously considering dumping the trains for Birmingham journeys. The farce that is the cancellation of services due to staff losses and mismanagement is harming the reputation of the service, and resulting in huge crowds of frustrated passengers at New Street. Quite how bad this will get with the Christmas crowds is causing me a great deal of concern. Awful.