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Mayor Dave: Thameslink Meeting Confirms 'Shocking, Monumental Failure' of Current Rail Services

June 6, 2018 1:54 PM

Dave Hodgson with Town Bridge behindCommenting following a meeting this morning with with Govia Thameslink, Mayor Dave Hodgson described the current situation for rail users as a 'shocking, monumental failure.' In the meeting, Thameslink revealed that train times will be varying from day to day until a reduced timetable is introduced in at least four weeks' time.

Mayor Dave made clear that Bedford rail users are being hit doubly hard by the ongoing chaos due to the fact that the failing services are those which remain after the Government has stripped away peak-time fast intercity trains. The daily delays and cancellations are therefore coming on top of the loss of the fastest trains to London and two and a half years of rail replacement buses for travellers to Bedford from the north in the morning peak (and back in the evening).

Commenting after the meeting on his Facebook page, Mayor Dave said:

"I met with Govia Thameslink this morning and made clear the extent of the impact of the utter failure of the new timetables on Bedford Borough residents. I reminded them that Bedford rail users have been hit doubly hard by the daily chaos currently taking place, because these failing services are those we have left *after* the government has taken away peak-time fast intercity trains.

Their explanation of how we got to where we are just confirmed that the Government, Network Rail and train companies were all utterly unprepared for the timetable change. The Government was warned, but despite knowing it was heading for disaster allowed it to go ahead and continued boasting of 'improvements'.

As for what happens now, Thameslink advised that a new, reduced timetable will be not be in place for at least another four weeks, and meanwhile times will vary from day to day. What a shocking, monumental failure this is. I will continue to keep up the pressure for the government and all parties to do whatever it takes to improve services NOW, such is the extent of the impact on people's work and personal lives of their failure.

Of course, all this only makes our fight to get the government to reinstate fast peak-time intercity services even more urgent. In my meeting with the Rail Minister and elsewhere the government has hinted they will look to put some services back. Until we have peak intercity trains back we need to keep up the pressure, so please sign and share my petition on this:http://mayordave.org.uk/bedfordtrains"