SEASON ticket holders on West Midlands Railway (WMR) services will not have to pay the national fares rise, which comes into effect this week, as compensation for the recent poor performance of trains across the region.

West Midlands Trains (WMT) has announced a discount on season tickets that more than covers the annual 2.8 per cent increase.

Following a drop in train performance since May, WMT has pledged to compensate passengers and have now announced this measure will take the form of a three per cent reduction in the cost of weekly, monthly and annual season tickets, offsetting the national fares rise, which came into effect today (January 2).

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, managing director of West Midlands Trains, which operates WMR and LNR services, said: “ In recognition of the poor performance, this compensation package for our regular customers when they renew their season tickets will offset the national fares rise.

"We have said for some time now that performance and timekeeping since the May 2019 timetable has not been good enough. The timetable added too much complexity which means that even minor delays transmit through the network.

"Some changes were made in the December 2019 timetable change to remove the complexity, and to add capacity, but the most significant changes to reintroduce simplicity will be implemented in the May 2020 timetable.

"I apologise again to customers for the poor performance and cancellations since May.

"As well as the timetable simplification in May, 2020 will also see the arrival of the first of our new trains, boosting capacity on our diesel services in the West Midlands."

There will also be a summer ticket promotion that will be announced in due course.

West Midlands Trains has already paid £2.5million in delay repay claims since May.

Last month, the train company began operating a new simplified timetable designed to reduce delays and cancellations.

It also introduced 16 additional carriages and a further 24 carriages are set to be added in the first few months of 2020.