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Last Updated: Friday, 7 January, 2005, 14:11 GMT
Complaints over county rail links
Central Train
There are complaints over fewer Central Trains in Leicestershire
The reliability of Central Trains' rural services across Leics is under fire from passengers and councils.

A new timetable has been introduced on local services across the Midlands, leading to the loss of 10% of trains.

The firm's deputy managing director Steve Banaghan said: "Central has improved punctuality, but not enough."

There have been separate complaints about the number of trains calling at South Wigston, which only has a handful of services each day.

'Going downhill'

The existing service at South Wigston station is under fire from Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, which claims the frequency of trains calling there is dropping.

The local service south of Leicester towards Nuneaton and Birmingham, calls hourly at Narborough and Hinckley, but only every two hours at South Wigston.

Speaking on BBC Radio Leicester, Tony Sims from the council said service is getting worse.

He said: "Things have been going downhill for the last few years.

"The reason they said they started cutting trains was that they did not have the rolling stock, they had not got enough to cope with the passengers that were using it.

"Gradually, bit by bit, it has been eroded away to hardly anything stopping at South Wigston."

No overtime

Mr Banaghan said Central Trains is "very committed" to improving its punctuality, but admitted National Rail Inquiries had been slow to update information because of technical problems.

Mr Banaghan said: "We have had to introduced a special timetable as a result of Aslef members not working their rest days."

Aslef denied it was industrial action, saying drivers are working contracts hours, but no overtime.

Talks continue over rest day working, after an agreement ran out on 31 December.

Central said it is operating 95% of peak-time, and 90% of all its services across the Midlands.

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