Thameslink performance statistics improve but commuters complain of unreliability under new timetable

Passengers from the 7.52am from St Albans being removed from a train at Kentish Town due to trespass

Passengers from the 7.52am from St Albans being removed from a train at Kentish Town due to trespassers on the line. Picture: Gail Simpson. - Credit: Archant

St Albans district commuters say trains are still arriving late and there is not enough information for passengers under Thameslink’s new timetable.

Govia Thameslink Railway implemented an interim timetable on Sunday, July 15 - their third in two months after a rushed timetable change in May led to cancellations, delays and overcrowding.

55.9 per cent of Thameslink trains arrived at their final destination at their scheduled time on Monday and 58.7 per cent did so on Tuesday.

This compares to 46.6 per cent of Thameslink trains in the period between May 27 and June 23.

But St Albans commuter and Liberal Democrat candidate Daisy Cooper said: “We were all hoping it would be third time lucky, but yesterday it proved as big a disaster, particularly on services coming into St Albans on Monday evening.

“Every single train was running five to 17 minutes late and there were people being rammed onto trains. At Blackfriars, there was no information and the driver did not even know if it was a fast train or not, so lots of passengers had one foot on the train and one foot off and were then trapped on trains they did not want to get on.

“We need the reliability of knowing where services are running and to make sure that passenger information is reliable.”

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Harpenden Thameslink Commuters leader Emily Ketchin said: “Most of the scheduled services ran this morning from Harpenden, but the big gaps in services meant more overcrowding on platforms and train and longer journey times.

“Thameslink must be the first train company to think making more cuts to the timetable is a recipe for success. The Transport Secretary and the Department for Transport need to be clear it is their responsibility to get the Harpenden service back to where it needs to be so people can get to work.”

A GTR spokesperson said: “The introduction of the interim timetable to give more reliability to Thameslink has gone well.

“Service levels and driver availability have improved and we are running a more reliable service in the peak hours.

“While overall the picture has improved, some signalling and engineering works have impacted services.

“At this important stage of the rollout plan we have begun operating 200 more daily services towards the 400 extra trains promised in the May timetable change.”