London Midland franchise to run Northampton’s rail service will last until at least mid-2017

London Midland franchise to run until at least June 2017. Picture by London Midland
London Midland franchise to run until at least June 2017. Picture by London Midland
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Thousands of Northampton commuters will be using London Midland until at least 2017 after the embattled company’s rail franchise was extended by the Government to June 2017.

News of the extension comes after nearly 1,000 trains were cancelled or delayed between October and the end of December as a result of driver shortages caused by a shortfall in the number of drivers being fully trained up.

Patrick Verwer, managing director of London Midland, said: “We welcome the announcement of the Government’s extension of our franchise to June 2017. This gives us the stability for the next four years to continue to improve our service, and focus on providing the reliable, consistent service our passengers expect and deserve. “

“We have seen a continuous period of improvement in our performance since December, and we will continue with our ongoing programme of driver recruitment and training.

“We will also continue to invest in our stations, and in new innovative technology such as our new 110 mph trains to London.”

The announcement follows an earlier decision by the Government last December to extend London Midland’s franchise up until September 2015.

The Department of Transport said the extension was needed to create a “robust and deliverable franchise schedule” but the Government would carrying on monitoring London Midland’s performance “very closely”.