THOUSANDS of concert-goers were left without any trains home after the biggest gig in Uttoxeter’s history.
On Saturday night, reggae giants UB40 performed at Uttoxeter Racecourse.
But, with the town’s hotels fully booked and East Midlands Trains running no service after the event, many were forced to stay off the booze and drive home.
Racecourse executive director David MacDonald said: “The sad thing is that, although 8,000 people came into town, if extra services were run, that number would’ve been 10,500.
“That would provide tens of thousands of pounds to the racecourse and hundreds of thousands for Uttoxeter’s businesses.
“I contacted East midlands Trains four months ago to let them know and told them many residents had complained at the lack of a service after the concert.
“I spoke to many people who said they wouldn’t be buying tickets because of this.
“They said they’d look into it but were doubtful anything could be done. I then didn’t hear from them again.
“It’s a similar problem to when we have Sunday race days, when 8,500 people come into the town but there’s no train before first race.
“We’ve been promised there’s a chance that, in the next couple of years, the service will be upgraded.”
An East Midlands Trains spokesman said: “There are hundreds of special events taking place across our network and we work to provide extra capacity for many sporting events, festivals and special seasonal events such as the Lincoln Christmas Market.
“We provide extra carriages for passengers travelling to Uttoxeter race meetings and for other major race events such as the Midlands Grand National.
“On Saturday we provided extra carriages on services in the day for people going to Uttoxeter.
“However, the Derby to Uttoxeter route is managed by Network Rail manual signal boxes and we are only able to operate train services when the signal boxes are manned by Network Rail signalling staff.
“This means we’re unable to operate trains after 10.05pm on Saturdays or before 2pm on Sundays.
“We remain keen to work with Uttoxeter racecourse on future events and will look to provide extra capacity for racegoers wherever possible.”