London Midland are warning passengers of increased traffic during the lead in to Christmas.
With Christmas markets taking place in Birmingham and Worcester the company is expecting to be busier than usual during the festive shopping period. They will lengthening as many trains as possible over the coming weekends to help with the extra demand. This includes services on the Snow Hill, Cross City and Walsall lines. However, the following Saturday departures from Birmingham Snow Hill to Stourbridge Junction are expected to be particularly busy: 17.31, 17.41, 19.26 and the 19.54.
London Midland head of Snow Hill services, Brenda Lawrence, said “We want all our passengers to enjoy the markets and get the best out of the festive season. Our advice is to please allow extra time when travelling and try to avoid the busier services.”
Cllr Roger Horton, lead member for rail and Metro at Centro, the region’s public transport co-ordinator, added: “Birmingham’s Christmas market attracts thousands of visitors each year so it’s great to see London Midland putting on these extra carriages to help meet that demand and make it easier for people to leave the car at home.”
Network Rail is also putting in special arrangements, at Birmingham New Street, to manage the extra passengers using the station. Steve Lewis, station manager at Birmingham New Street, said: “The Christmas Market and festive period are great for Birmingham but put significant pressure on the station to safely manage much higher passenger numbers and sudden large surges of people trying to catch their train.
“One Friday last year saw an increase of 55,000 people using the station compared to normal and while the station team did a fantastic job of helping to keep people on the move, there was inevitable disruption to some people. Our advice is to always allow for extra time to make your train and check before you travel. Specialist crowd management staff will be in place across the station to manage passenger flows as well as extra station staff to provide advice and information.”