Teddington trains to London set to be CUT by South Western Railway, new documents reveal

  Posted: 17.08.21 at 13:47 by Ellie Brown

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Morning trains from Teddington to London are set to be cut by 50%, a South Western Railway (SWR) consultation shows.

The document, revealed today (17 August), shows the company intends to keep peak Surburban AM trains from Teddington to the capital at pandemic levels of 2 per hour, though this does not include the Shepperton loop.

This is half the level of pre-Covid services which saw 4 trains running from Teddington to London on the Strawberry Hill route at these times.

The consultation which you can view HERE, shows the company plans to cut services across Richmond borough.

It has sparked outrage from Richmond Council, who "strongly condemned" the proposals for their "detrimental impact" to the borough.

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Chair of the Transport and Air Quality Services Committee, said: “South Western Railway’s proposals are unacceptable and extremely short sighted.

The planned changes (Image: SWR)

"The changes would result in a significantly reduced service both at peak and off-peak times compared to the pre-pandemic service levels.

“Increased usage of public transport is an essential part of our fight against climate change and by reducing local rail services,

"South Western Railway will further disincentivise residents to use public transport due to increased wait times between services.

“The present consultation has been poorly promoted and is lacking some of the key details necessary for residents to respond.

"We are calling on South Western Railway to withdraw these proposals.

"If Southern Western Railway insist upon continuing this misguided consultation, we ask that they publish a clear and comprehensible timetable for all affected stations and ensure this is properly communicated to our impacted residents.”

The Council is also encouraging residents to us #SaveSWRServices to voice their opposition to these proposed changes via social media.

Local MP Munira Wilson also expressed her concern.

She criticised the timing of the consultation and described it as "poorly run."

She 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."

South Western Railway said on its website: "In partnership with Network Rail and the Department for Transport, we have launched a stakeholder consultation on proposals for our December 2022 timetable.

"This is a strategic review of future service levels across our network.

We are acutely aware that in the past we have responded to ever growing customer demand by increasing the number of trains on the SWR network, often at the expense of the performance and reliability of our services. But, as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to build back a better railway for the future.

"Since March 2020, we have been supported by the Government to run a reduced service that has kept key workers moving.

"This period has shown that our performance improves significantly when we are able to run fewer trains while still meeting customer demand for our services.

"Even though passengers are now returning to the railways, all the forecasts suggest they will not return to pre-Covid levels for the foreseeable future.

"The December 2022 timetable is our opportunity to plan for a long-term timetable that will retain the reliability improvements we’ve made, meet the forecast demand and provide value for the taxpayer while balancing other local and national priorities.

"We are considering a specification for services rather than specific trains or a timetable. It is for that reason that we are consulting with a defined set of organisations, which have a strategic or representative role rather than the wider community.

"This includes all MPs and district and county councillors across our network, as well as passenger groups amongst others."

What do you think of the plans? Let us know

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