DELAYS and cancellations to train services have been slammed after Great Western Railway (GWR) admitted that many drivers are not trained to drive the new trains.

GWR services on the North Cotswold line, including Worcester, Pershore, Malvern and Evesham have been hit by problems, with the company admitting that the service must improve urgently.

The company says that issues with driver training along with damage to by trains means that older trains are being used.

This has seen four of the worst ten performing GWR services on lines running through Worcester to and from Paddington in February's figures.

The services included the 8.22pm service from Paddington to Great Malvern which was within five minutes of schedule 40 percent of the time.

The 5.28am service from Hereford to Paddington and the 11.22am and 2.21pm services to Worcester Foregate Street from Paddington were on time 45 percent of the time.

The new trains are up to ten minutes quicker between Hereford and London Paddington, and allow for an increase to one train an hour frequency.

The delays have caused anger, including from Chloe Hughes, a 20 year old Worcester student who said: “It’s annoying because so many people rely on the train services to get to work.

“When I went to London the other week so many trains were delayed and obviously if you are late then it impacts your whole day, even your job.

“Why would you not train enough drivers when you run a train company?”

Worcester News readers shared their anger on Facebook about delays and cancellations.

Carl Jury said: "Today (Monday), the 15.22 Malvern train from Paddington got as far as Oxford before being cancelled.due to not having a Train Manager.

"Over 1 hour delay, again in getting to Worcester.

"I use this service 2 or 3 times a week and recently it seems at least once a week there is a severe delay or cancellation. And always due to unavailability of staff to run the train. Trains need drivers.Why is it so difficult to work out?"

A spokesman for GWR said:“We know that recent performance on the North Cotswolds route has not been good enough and we are sorry.

"We have had some issues with driver training; and damage sustained by a small number of our high speed train fleet.

"This has meant that we are running some services using our older turbo trains.

“We recognise the urgent need to improve this and are doing all we can to get back to time, by prioritising North Cotswolds services where possible.

"Passengers who have had a booked service cancelled can get compensation and we would urge them to get in touch.”

Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire said: "I am told that delays are often down to the lack of drivers who have not been properly trained to drive the new trains, that’s just poor planning and management by Great Western Railways."

Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire has also said there has been a “significant deterioration” in Great Western Railway’s service in recent months.