In 2012 an unpredicted (and unprecedented) increase in staff turnover led to a temporary shortfall in qualified drivers.
We worked hard to ensure the shortage was addressed and resolved as quickly as possible but we recognise that between September and December 2012 we caused significant disruption to our passengers' journeys. We are sorry for letting you down.
Since then we have introduced improved processes, planning and partnerships to help deliver a better service across our network. Our ongoing recruitment of drivers and conductors has also generated hundreds of applications.
Free tickets for commuters
In December, we announced a £7m package of customer benefits in recognition of the significant disruption caused by our train cancellations. This included a proposal to offer 5 days of free travel for commuters.
Over the past month we have been finalising the details with the Department of Transport - which is responsible for overseeing all rail franchises - and we can now confirm the free ticket application process:
What's the offer?We are offering 5 days of free travel across the London Midland network to all season ticket holders who were affected by the problems in autumn 2012. The 5 free tickets will each allow 1 day's unlimited travel on London Midland trains (1st class season ticket holders will receive 1st class tickets).
Any person who held a season ticket for travel on London Midland services for at least 28 days between 10 September and 8 December 2012 and was affected by disruption. The days do not need to be consecutive (e.g. a 7 day season ticket purchased once a month from September to December).
Are all season tickets included?Rail seasons, Scholar passes, Travelcard seasons, and ntrain/nnetwork seasons are eligible as long as they meet the other criteria set out above. You can also claim if you held a Travelcard that included travel between Euston and Watford Junction (whether or not it was on an Oyster card).
How to apply
If you are part of Centro's Direct Debit or Corporate Travel season ticket schemes - or you hold a Scholar Pass - you will receive the free tickets automatically and do not need to apply separately. All other season ticket holders will need to complete a short online application form which will be available on the London Midland website from 5 February - 31 March 2013.
What information is required to apply?To prevent fraudulent claims, we need to verify each application against existing records. We therefore need your name, address, photocard number, type of season ticket held, origin/destination, and details of where you bought the ticket. To speed up the verification process, we will also ask to see alternative evidence of purchase - the tickets themselves or the relevant bank/credit card statements are both fine. You will be able to upload copies of these with your application or post them to us separately.
If we do not have enough information to process your claim, we may need to request further documentation.
How long will it take to receive the tickets?We hope to process all applications within 28 days of receipt, and will send you an email when your tickets have been dispatched. Although we have a dedicated team working on the process, we are expecting tens of thousands of applications which will need to be verified.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why not offer an automatic season ticket extension?We appreciate that a missed appointment on a 10 minute journey is just as disruptive as a missed appointment on an hour's journey. Our scheme therefore compensates you as an individual rather than the value of your ticket.
Can the free tickets be used for commuting?
If you want to use all 5 tickets to get to and from work, that's fine. However, as they are valid anywhere on the London Midland network, you may want to use some or all of them for a day out somewhere more interesting. In fact, if you work out the cost of your daily commute, you'll probably find you get better value by using the free tickets for a day out - don't forget we run trains to Liverpool, London, Birmingham and across the Heart of England.
Can the tickets be used by anyone?
You will be issued with 5 uniquely numbered tickets to help us ensure they don't get into the wrong hands. However, once you receive your 5 tickets, you can use them yourself or give them to friends or family. Please note: tickets have no monetary value and must not be resold as this could lead to prosecution.
On what date will the free tickets expire?
The tickets will be valid until 31 March 2014.
Is there a cash alternative?
No, although Delay Repay compensation can be claimed on journeys delayed by more than 30 minutes.
Are regular travellers who didn't buy a season ticket entitled to compensation?Holders of Single/Return tickets and Oyster Pay As You Go users do not automatically qualify. Delay Repay offers compensation for London Midland delays that extend journeys by over 30 minutes and we hope everyone has claimed their full entitlement under this scheme. However, there may be exceptional circumstances where we consider additional compensation (e.g. where a season ticket is more expensive than 5 return tickets) - send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you qualify.
Are the free tickets available to season ticket holders who have already claimed Delay Repay during the affected period?
Yes. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria set out above, you are entitled to the free tickets, no matter how many times you claimed Delay Repay.
Are any season tickets excluded?
Yes. On journeys where tickets are also valid on a much faster alternative service, we will not automatically offer the free tickets (e.g. Coventry-London) unless additional evidence of travel with London Midland can be provided.
What are London Midland's principal routes?
Shrewsbury-Wolverhampton-Birmingham New St
Hereford-Worcester-Birmingham New St
Worcester-Kidderminster-Birmingham Snow Hill
Stratford-upon-Avon-Shirley-Birmingham Snow Hill
Dorridge-Solihull-Birmingham Snow Hill
Liverpool-Crewe-Stafford-Wolverhampton-Birmingham New St
Rugeley-Birmingham New St
Lichfield-Birmingham New St-Redditch
Northampton-Milton Keynes-Watford Junction-London Euston
St Albans Abbey-Watford Junction
Why is it necessary to apply for the free tickets?
The last thing we want to do is send tickets to your old address and as so many commuters buy their tickets at the station, we can't guarantee to have everyone's current address. There are also some major stations on our network (e.g. Birmingham New St) that are run by different train companies. We're not allowed access to their data by law. And if you buy your 7 day season ticket from the self-service machine at the station, you don't need to provide any details at all. The application form will allow us to update our records and give everyone peace of mind, too.
When can season tickets holders apply for their free tickets?
The online form will be available on the London Midland website at londonmidland.com/sorry from 5 February-31 March 2013. Centro Direct Debit and Corporate Travel scheme members will receive their tickets in mid-late February 2013.
Terms and conditions
- The free ticket offer only applies to London Midland customers with season tickets valid between 10 September-8 December 2012.
- Deliberately fraudulent claims will be passed to London Midland's Prosecutions team
- To qualify, customers must have season tickets covering at least 28 days of the above period (these days do not need to be consecutive).
- Only one application is permitted per customer.
- Customers with ntrain and nnetwork passes issued through the Centro Direct Debit and Corporate schemes will automatically receive their free tickets and do not need to apply separately. All other customers need to apply online or request a postal application form
- Only season tickets valid for journeys on London Midland services are eligible.
- This scheme is in addition to any claims made through Delay Repay in 2012.
- Applications must be received via the online or postal application form by 31 March 2013.
- Only one application for tickets may be made per season ticket holder.
- Tickets, proof of purchase or proof of travel (i.e. receipt or bank/credit card statement or letter from employer) are required.
- London Midland reserves the right to request additional proof of eligibility and may reject applications where this is not provided.
- Once a complete application is received, it will take up to 28 days for the free tickets to be issued.
- Holders of season tickets valid for travel on multiple train operators' services, Travelcard season tickets, Oyster Travelcards, scholar/child seasons or other discounted season tickets are also eligible for the free ticket offer as long as they meet the other required criteria outlined above.
- Every eligible season ticket holder will receive 5 free tickets, each valid for 1 day's unlimited travel on London Midland train services. There is no cash alternative.
- Tickets are only valid for travel in the class of accommodation specified on the ticket although weekend upgrades to 1st class are permitted on payment of the appropriate supplement.
- The free tickets can be used by the applicant or given to anyone of his/her choice.
- This offer is made subject to the terms and conditions and the National Rail Conditions of Carriage. Any breach of these terms will be considered as fraudulent and may lead to prosecution.
- Tickets remain the property of London Midland and have no resale value.
- When travelling with a free ticket, Delay Repay compensation cannot be claimed as the tickets have no monetary value.
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Since 2007, London Midland has been providing train services to and from London in the south, to Birmingham in the Midlands and Liverpool in the north-west. Over 60 million passenger journeys a year are made using on the network and London Midland manage 148 stations and operate
over 1,300 services a day.
London Midland is owned by Govia, the partnership between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis. Govia
is the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for nearly 30 per cent of UK passenger rail journeys through its three rail companies, Southern (which includes Gatwick Express services), Southeastern and London Midland. Further information on Govia is available at www.govia.info
London Midland has won a range of awards, including Best Local Transport Integration, four Rail Business Awards for marketing, public relations and customer information, five Golden Spanner Awards for Engineering, three IOIC awards for internal communication and three Railstaff Awards for Outstanding Customer Service, Lifesaving and Charity Work.
In 2013 London Midland was awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Silver Award and been awarded the 5 Star award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in 2012.