Trains to St Albans may be cut in new timetable for May 2019
- Credit: Archant
Trains stopping at St Albans station could be cut in a new wave of changes set to shake up the schedule.
The possibility of another reorganisation of the Thameslink timetable will be discussed at a meeting on February 11 with Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and The Association of Public Transport Users (APTU).
St Albans Liberal Democrats say changes to the Thameslink Express calling pattern, planned for May 2019, could include fewer trains at St Albans City Station or more stops along the line, reducing capacity.
An APTU survey is currently accepting responses ahead of the meeting.
This comes after last year’s commuting chaos - East Midlands Trains stopped calling at Bedford and Luton in May and passengers faced months of delays and cancellations.
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Currently, there is no representative exclusively for St Albans passengers planned to attend the meeting. Although APTU, St Albans district council, and Herts county council’s remit covers the whole line including St Albans, Harpenden and Luton will have dedicated representatives.
Coordinator of the St Albans Commuter and Passenger Action Group and Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate Daisy Cooper said the best solution was to restore East Midlands stops at Bedford and Luton: “The decision to exclude us at such a crucial meeting is appalling and unjustified, and smacks of another stitch-up between Thameslink and the Tory Government.”
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St Albans district councillor Jacqui Taylor urged all commuters and passengers to complete the APTU’s survey.
Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami said: “No decision about services to St Albans has been made, and no decision will be made without St Albans representatives present. All the meetings I have had and will have in the future will be about securing better train services for Hitchin and Harpenden.”
A spokesperson from GTR said reducing services to St Albans is unlikely as it poses a safety issue and that St Albans is represented through SADC and APTU: “The meeting we are holding next week with passenger representatives and MPs is to provide information on passenger demand and what changes to calling patterns are feasible.”
APTU did not respond to requests for comment. Complete the survey at www.surveymoz.com/s/JVJUT/