The first two phases attracted over 20,000 responses on the rail operator’s proposals for new and extended routes, and on details of weekday timetables. This third phase focuses on weekend and late night services, and runs until 20th December.
The proposed changes are a key part of modernising the rail network in the south east, taking advantage of the new infrastructure and trains provided by the Thameslink Programme. This major rewrite of the timetable will provide new journey opportunities, better intervals between trains, improved reliability, and more capacity, responding to the growth in passenger numbers, which have doubled in just 12 years on some parts of the GTR network.
Highlights of the proposals include:
• doubling Saturday services for Hertford North, Welwyn Garden City, Reigate, and all stations between Bickley and Denmark Hill
• new Sunday services for Belmont, Banstead, Epsom Downs and Reigate
• doubling Sunday services for stations from Radlett to Mill Hill Broadway (and increasing Saturday services from 4 to 6 per hour)
• late-night Thameslink service between Bedford and Three Bridges stepped up from hourly to half-hourly
Phil Hutchinson, GTR’s Head of Strategic Planning, who is leading the timetable development and consultation, said: “Our timetable consultation with passengers and stakeholders has been very positive so far. Phase 2 generated over 10,000 responses and we are working to incorporate as many suggestions as possible. We are very grateful to those who have taken such an interest and are helping to shape the new timetable.
“This is a fundamental part of our plans to modernise the railway, creating better connections and more capacity. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restructure the timetable to give passengers more trains and the much better reliability we all want. Ultimately it will put the Thameslink route at the heart of the UK rail network.”
For phase 3, as with the earlier consultations, anybody with an interest will be invited to comment on line at a dedicated website www.transformingrail.com. Passengers are able to view full timetables, as well as search for specific times on a journey planner.
The website is being promoted through posters and announcements at stations, by announcements on trains, as an email to GTR’s customer database, through media outlets, via the train operator websites and on Twitter. The consultation closes on Wednesday 20th December at 12:00pm.
Click here to view further details of the overall improvements planned for introduction by May 2018.
Confirmation of the Monday to Friday daytime timetable that was consulted on in phase 2 will be available in the New Year.