Pushing for train services we can rely on
Residents in our area have been chronically underserved by South Western Railway (SWR). Train problems and poor service through local stations – some of which pre-date COVID, industrial action and other more recent disruptions – have left commuters across the constituency stranded. For police officers and nurses struggling to get to their shifts, patients trying to get to hospital appointments, students trying to get to school, and people trying to work or keep their businesses afloat, the service is just not good enough. The level of chaos and misery that these train issues are causing for people in our area is simply unacceptable.
Munira frequently raises this issue in Parliament. She is continuing to push the Government and SWR for regular, reliable services that commuters can depend on.
On 31 October, Munira welcomed the announcement that planned ticket office closures in Twickenham, and across England, would be scrapped. Munira had been calling on the Government and South Western Railway (SWR) to halt the plans. Read more here and coverage in Nub News here.
Like many residents, Munira had been extremely concerned about the proposed station changes announced by South Western Railway, including ticket office closures and reduced staffed hours at stations in the constituency.
The changes would have seen staffing hours slashed at six of Twickenham’s eight stations, including at two of three step-free or soon to be step-free stations in Teddington and Whitton. Munira was particularly concerned that rail travel would become far less accessible to local people with disabilities or additional needs, who depend on staff assistance to travel safely, confidently and independently.
Munira submitted a formal response to the consultation (here). She wrote to the Rail Minister to express residents’ concerns (Munira’s letter here and the Minister’s response here). Munira also wrote to the Managing Director of South Western Railway (here). Read a news article here.
Whitton Service Reinstated – December 2022
At the end of last year, SWR unexpectedly cancelled all trains from 40 stations across the network – including Whitton, Strawberry Hill and St Margarets – on non-strike days, leaving commuters completely stranded. Services from Twickenham, Teddington and Hampton were also severely reduced.
Following the shock announcement, Munira convened an urgent meeting with the Managing Director of SWR to press them on train services. Munira also raised the issue in Parliament and in the press. SWR subsequently announced that it would reinstate some off-peak services to Whitton station, though not, unfortunately, to Strawberry Hill and St Margarets.
Munira was re-elected as Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on South Western Railway. Transport issues are an ongoing source of frustration in our area, Munira will work with other MPs across the SWR network to raise passengers’ concerns.
- May 2022: Munira helped secure the reinstatement of SWR’s weekday peak service from Shepperton to Waterloo via Twickenham.
- January 2022: Munira fought against cuts to the Shepperton line through Hampton and Fulwell, launching a petition demanding that the Government “Stop Levelling Down London’s Transport.”
- October 2021: Munira responded to an SWR consultation on behalf of her constituents, canvassing opinions from local residents.
- September 2021: Munira met with SWR management and Network Rail representatives to highlight constituent concerns about planned rail service cuts.
- August 2021: Munira criticised SWR’s proposal to reduce rail services across the constituency by 50%. See news coverage here.