The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Trains
Posted Thursday, 21 December 2017 at 12:15

As one of my colleagues pointed out yesterday, it takes a special kind of magic to turn a multi-billion pound success story of much-needed investment in railway infrastructure into a ‘horlicks’ of inconvenience and miscommunication.

Yet, somehow, that is where we are with our train services in Mid-Beds.

As my commuting constituents will be all too aware, Network Rail, East Midlands Trains (EMT) and Thameslink recently, suddenly and with no consultation, announced a very significant shake-up of the railway timetables.

As briefly as possible, to enable infrastructure upgrades north of us, and to take advantage of previous upgrades south of us, fast EMT trains will no longer stop at Bedford during peak hours. Instead, Thameslink trains will run fast to Luton, no longer stopping at Flitwick and Harlington.

For my constituents who commute from Bedford this is inconvenient, efforts at mitigation then cause further inconvenience down the line for commuters using Flitwick and Harlington.

As an MP I’ve rarely been as angry as I am about these changes, both because of their significance and the appalling manner they’ve been set out and communicated.

There is simply no doubt that this has been handled badly and I will continue to press for an explanation of what went wrong. I will also keep up the pressure on Thameslink to stick to their promises for easing the negative effects of these changes for my constituents.

All services stopping at Flitwick and Harlington in peak times will be 12 carriage trains. New trains will have both free wifi and tables. Older trains will have these retrofitted.

Perhaps the most significant benefits of the investment on the Thameslink London core are less tangible but of very real advantage to my constituents. Fewer delays, fewer cancelled trains and less time spent waiting on cold, windy platforms.

As with any major infrastructure development, the devil is in the detail. Thameslink must provide the benefits they are promising, most importantly longer trains with larger capacity at peak hours.

I understand why my constituents are sceptical and it’s my job to hold Thameslink to account. If you have concerns, questions or just something you want to get off your chest about these changes then please send an email to dorriesn@parliament.uk

 
 
 
 
 

 
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