Munira has criticised South Western Railway (SWR) for a poorly run consultation process which proposes a reduction in services running from key stations across the Twickenham constituency.
In response to the proposed changes Munira said:
“It is outrageous that SWR have launched a consultation on significant timetable changes over the summer when many people are away. There has been very little publicity, and with people working from home, the majority of commuters will be unaware of the proposals. To make matters worse the documentation produced by SWR is difficult to interpret.”
“I am calling upon SWR to extend the consultation period and communicate the proposed changes more clearly. They should publish a clear station by station guide to highlight the actual impact these proposals would have on services, compared to their pre-pandemic level.”
“Under these proposals, St Margarets loses two trains per hour and Teddington looks set to lose two services during the morning peak. Whitton appears very badly impacted, with an approximate 50% reduction in direct trains to Richmond and Waterloo. I am particularly concerned about the loss of trains during the morning peak, leaving Whitton with no services between the 7:50 and 8:20 Windsor trains. This gap could lead to overcrowding at the station.”
“I appreciate that passenger numbers are down due to the pandemic, but it’s far too early to be making permanent changes to the timetable when we don’t know what long-term commuting patterns will look like. Any reduction in services should be temporary, with a new consultation on permanent changes in 6 months’ time.”
Munira will be meeting SWR at the beginning of September to challenge them on these points and gain further clarification on this very complex consultation. Information about the changes can be found at https://www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/timetables/timetable-consultation-december-2022. The consultation currently closes on 19th September.