Writes to South Western about reduction in train services
Ruth Cadbury accuses the chancellor of being misleading
Brentford & Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury has written to the Managing Director of South Western Railway (SWR) to raise ‘serious concerns’ about a reduction of train services on the Hounslow Loop.
The train company switched to a revised timetable on 17 January significantly reducing the regularity of services on its network on what it said was a temporary basis.
Ms Cadbury told Claire Mann that the changes have resulted in a poor service for local residents and that they raised wider issues for those who rely on SWR trains.
Regular passengers on the trains have reported that, even with many people still working from home, the trains have become very over-crowded, particularly in the morning rush.
In her letter she said the cancellation of early morning trains, the reduction in services from 4 to 2 an hour in the morning, overcrowding on services, the status of the Hounslow Loop and the poor communication with passengers and local residents have raised ‘serious concerns’.
The impact on many key-workers and students locally who rely on the train service every-day was also highlighted to the company.
Ms Cadbury said, ‘‘I’ve heard from so many local residents who’ve been rightly dismayed at the poor service on South Western Rail. Whether it’s trains being cancelled at the last minute, overcrowding on morning services or poor communication it’s clear that residents locally are being let down.
“I’m particularly worried about the cuts to services on the Hounslow Loop for residents who travel to Whitton, Twickenham, St Margaret’s and Richmond.
“I know how frustrating this is for everyone locally who relies on SWR trains to get out and about- whether for work, school or to see friends and family. I’m concerned that these cuts will have a huge impact on our already congested roads as people will be tempted to drive if they cannot rely on the rail services. I look forward to hearing clear answers from SWR on this important issue.’’
A SWR spokesperson said, “Last month, we introduced a new temporary timetable which ensured reliability for our customers in light of the staff shortages caused by the spread of omicron.
“Throughout this challenging period, we have been doing all we can to ensure that we meet customer demand. That’s why, following an increase in staff availability, we reintroduced some additional peak time services – including on the Hounslow Loop Line.
“We are developing plans to further increase our service levels as more customers and colleagues return to the railway and will announce the details as soon as they are finalised.”
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February 10, 2022