Investment pledge for St Albans’ Abbey Flyer rail line
- Credit: Archant
Train operator London Midland, which operates the Abbey Flyer between St Albans and Watford, has pledged an extra daily return service on the line.
It comes after the company won the contract to continue running services between London, the West Midlands and the North of England until October 2017.
Included in a £13 million package of improvements over the next 18 months is the promise of an extra daily return service on the Abbey line linking St Albans Abbey with Watford Junction which would provide an extra 3,400 seats each week.
The announcement was welcomed by St Albans MP Anne Main who said: “This is really good news. I have been a vocal advocate for improved connectivity on the Abbey Line for many years so it’s great to see this commitment from the train company.”
She said the extra service would run seven days a week and later than the current timetable. In addition there was a promise of new ticket machines and an upgrade to the existing ones.
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But Mrs Main said she would still be lobbying for a passing loop along the Abbey Flyer which would allow trains to run in both directions.
She added: “What London Midland must do now is promote this improved service to the public. For too long the line has been neglected and I hope this firm commitment goes some way to catching up with previous promised upgrades.”
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Earlier this year, the county council proposed taking up the rails on the Abbey Flyer and replacing them with parallel concrete busways as part of its draft rail strategy.
It cited concern about the poor usage of the line, the lack of through services and the poor service frequency.
But ABFLY, the Abbey Flyer Users Group, came out strongly against the proposal which was subsequently dropped.