St Albans MP meets rail minister ahead of Thameslink timetable changes

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 November 2018

St Albans MP Anne Main meeting with rail minister Jo Johnson.

St Albans MP Anne Main meeting with rail minister Jo Johnson.


Thameslink has announced its next timetable change - as St Albans’ MP and Harpenden commuters call for change.

The next change is planned for December and will mean an additional fast train and four additional semi-fast trains for St Albans in the morning peak then one extra fast service and four extra slow trains in the evening peak.

Thameslink passengers faced numerous problems in May due to the botching of a timetable change, creating concerns the December change could cause similar problems.

Mrs Main said: “Thameslink must get this right in December. No ifs, no buts.

“The timetable rollout in May was a complete shambles and the misery it caused was enormous.

“It is good that the service has improved a lot, but for the price St Albans commuters pay it needs to be even better.

“Additional trains will be added into the service and that is much needed – but Thameslink must be able to deliver those changes without major disruption.”

Harpenden will see one extra fast and four semi-fast services in the morning peak and two fast and four slow trains in the evening peak.

Two St Albans and Harpenden services, one in the morning and one in the evening, will also expand from eight carriages to twelve.

Coordinator of Harpenden Thameslink Commuters Emily Ketchin said: “Thameslink’s December timetable will still leave Harpenden with a third fewer key weekday services than they ran before the May timetable change.

“That’s longer waits, more overcrowding, yet still some of the most expensive fares on the railways.

“On Saturday, services have been cut from eight trains an hour to just two - which are routinely overcrowded, cancelled or delayed.

“Making trips to London for work, shopping or entertainment a trial not a pleasure.

“The fact Thameslink portray this as good news just shows how out of touch they are and their complete contempt for their captive customers who pay their salaries.

“Harpenden used to have a good rail service. It’s now time for our elected representatives to take action to have it restored.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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