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£7m London Midland rail compensation scheme is extended

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A £7 million compensation scheme for rail passengers in the Midlands who suffered months of disruption has been extended to try and get more people to claim free travel.

Pople travelling from Birmingham to London have been made to pay the most since 2010, a study has shown.

For more than two months at the end of last year London Midland passengers were forced to check for daily updates on whether or not their trains would even run, while many were forced to get off miles away from their destination and change to other services.

The problems came after more than 30 drivers left the firm within a short space of each other last year, meaning the company could not fulfill all of its timetable commitments.

Bosses have since said that they have addressed the driver shortage while agreeing the compensation package with the Department for Transport.

But now they have had to extend the amount of time people have to claim compensation in a bid to get more people to come forward.

The scheme had been due to finish at the weekend but has now been extended until April 30.

Season ticket holders who were affected by the problems are allowed to claim five days of free travel across the London Midland network.

The firm has also said it will offer half a million cheap fares on routes between Birmingham and London, Crewe and Liverpool, and spend £2.25m on improvements for passengers, mainly in the West Midlands.

London Midland also published an apology on its website saying it had let customers down after attracting heavy criticism over the disruption which saw more than 900 scheduled journeys scrapped.

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London Midland spokesman Daniel Skaife said: "Originally the end date of our scheme was going to be March 31 but we have given travellers an additional four weeks to get any compensation they need to do so. We encourage passengers to do so and to get in touch."

The company runs services to stations in the Black Country and Staffordshire including the Chase Line from Birmingham to Walsall and Rugeley. It also serves stations in South Staffordshire such as Codsall and Bilbrook.

Those who qualify for compensation can find our more information by visiting www.londonmidland.com

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