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    Reaction to Thameslink decision

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    News release: 06 November 2019

    A refusal to revise the Thameslink timetable will cause “considerable frustration” and “real hardship” for passengers who use Harpenden station, rail chiefs have been warned.

    Thameslink logo
    Group leaders at St Albans City and District Council have written in protest at the decision by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to stick to the timetable until December 2020.

    GTR carried out a public consultation following complaints that not enough trains were stopping at Harpenden at peak times under a new timetable introduced last year.

    The group leaders responded by calling for “a fairer distribution of services”, saying there was “a compelling and evidence-based case for increasing the number of services calling at Harpenden at peak times”.

    GTR has now announced that the outcome of the consultation is that Harpenden’s services will not be improved.

    In their letter to Tom Moran, the Managing Director of Thameslink and Great Northern Railways, the group leaders say they are “very disappointed” with the decision.

    They add: “Every day, we receive reports from our constituents of over-crowded trains and late-running services. 

    “Your decision will cause considerable frustration for the large number of Harpenden residents who use your service for their daily commute.”

    The group leaders point to data that show Luton Railway Station has 29% more trains at peak morning times than Harpenden, but 31% fewer passengers.

    “As it stands, it is Harpenden commuters who will experience ‘real hardship’ during their daily commute,” the letter states

    “They have reported waiting for overcrowded slow trains as half-empty fast trains run without stopping at the station. 

    “We hope that you will work to resolve this issue with the needs of Harpenden rail-users in mind.”

    A copy of the letter has been sent to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, to make him aware of the Council’s concerns.

    The signatories to the letter are: Councillor Chris White, Council Leader and Liberal Democrats Group Leader, Cllr Mary Maynard, Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Malachy Pakenham, Labour Group Leader, and Cllr Simon Grover, Green and Independent Group Leader.

    Media contact: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City and District Council: 01727-819533; john.mcjannet@stalbans.gov.uk.